'£100 fine for £1,000 saving': Readers' support for parents who take children on holiday during term time
"WE do it every year – it saves us £1,000 and we get a £100 fine. The maths is simple – even my son can work that out and he misses a week of school every year."
This is just one of the many comments from readers following our article about parents being fined for taking children out of school for family holidays.
It's the result of travel companies hiking up prices during school holidays – leaving that luxury out of reach for many.
We revealed on Wednesday that last academic year, 359 parents were fined for their children being off school without authorisation – some of them because they had gone on holiday.
Another reader who commented on the article on www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk wrote: "I can see exactly why some parents take their kids out of school, especially when the choice is 'we go during term time or we don't go'."
Another commented: "I think I'd rather pay the respective number of £50 fines and save £1,274 on the holiday deal," which is the amount a family of four could save on a holiday to Florida in June, rather than the end of July.
However, some readers disagreed, with one commenting: "The state gives children a free education but there are reasonable rules attached.
"If you want the schooling then you follow the rules – that seems fair enough to me."
Meanwhile, the travel agent featured in the article has now called for all travel agents to make sure parents are made aware of the possibility of being fined at the time of booking a holiday.
Janine Wilbourne, who owns Waltham Travel, on Eastgate, Louth, has pledged to inform all parents who book holidays in term-time that they may be fined £50 if it is not authorised by the school's headteacher.
Mrs Wilbourne said: "It is not up to us to tell people when to take the holidays but we can at least give them all the information and let them make an informed decision.
"I think that most travel agents already tell people about fines and most parents already know but we like to be entirely honest.
"Some parents will still choose to take children out in term time because the money they could save is much more than the fine but it tends to be those with younger children."
However, two other travel agents believe that parents are already well aware of the fines.
One agent, who preferred not to be named, said: "When we talk to clients, they already know about them so I think that the schools are already doing a good job at publicising the information."
Another source, from package holiday giant Thomson, said: "Parents usually tell us about the fines in term time before we have the chance to mention it.
"Most of us are parents ourselves so we know just how hot the schools are on telling parents that they will be fined at both primary and secondary level."
What do you think?
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