Sharp rise in parents fined for term-time holidays in Lincolnshire

The number of fines issued to Lincolnshire parents for taking their children on holiday during the school term has more than tripled.

According to a Freedom of Information response from Lincolnshire County Council, 1,915 fixed penalty notices were issued during the 2017 to 2018 school year.

This is nearly four times the number issued for the previous year, which was just 502.

Parents who breach the rules, which apply to all state schools in England, face a £60 fine or worse if they don’t pay within 21 days. The fines for last year will have netted the council at least £114,900.

Richard Marriott from Spalding took seven-year-old daughter Jasmine to Mallorca a week before the summer holidays. Despite arguing that the trip itself would be educational, he received a fixed penalty notice for £60.

School holiday finesHe said: “The price difference between term time and the school holidays is absolutely ridiculous. It was nearly £1,000 more, so paying the fine was a no brainer.”

It was a similar story for Nikita Liddle from Lincoln, who took the family abroad in June last year, just before the prices soar.

She said: “We went away in term time because it was around £800 more expensive to go in the summer holidays.

“As a single parent, I wasn’t able to financially afford it and don’t see why my son Josh should miss out on a holiday because we aren’t from a wealthy family.”

The council said the sharp rise in fines is due to their new attendance workshops for school staff that are encouraging them to be stricter in their handling of absences.

“The money comes to the local authority, but it is used to support schools to manage their attendance,” said John O’Connor, Lincolnshire children’s services manager.

He added: “Parents have 13 weeks to take their child on holiday without impacting on their learning.”

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