Parents more likely to take children on holiday since ruling


Almost 50 per cent of parents say they are more likely to take their children on holiday during term time following the recent High Court judgment in favour of a father who took his daughter to Florida.

A poll of 562 parents, conducted by car insurance firm Esure, found that 46 per cent are either ‘more likely’ or ‘likely’ to book a term-time family holiday after the High Court judgment, with the results suggesting that 1.7 million or 21 per cent planned to do so in the next year alone.

However, figures released by councils in response to Freedom of Information (FoI) requests show they are issuing an increasing number of fines to parents who take their children out of school without permission.

More than 47,157 parents were fined during the 2013/14 academic year, rising to 74,278 in 2014/15.

The majority of local education authorities said they were strict about fining parents except for North Tyneside Council, Milton Keynes Council, Warrington Borough Council and the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames, who suggested they were more lenient.

Nikki Sellers, head of travel insurance at Esure, said: “The difference in cost for taking a family trip away during the school holidays versus during term-time is huge, so it’s hardly surprising that they’re willing to risk a £60 fine.”

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: “The evidence shows that every extra day of school missed can affect a pupil’s chance of gaining good GCSEs, which has a lasting effect on their life chances. Unauthorised absence during term time doesn’t just have an impact on the child’s education, but also on teachers and other children.

“While family holidays are enriching experiences, the school year is designed to give families the opportunity for these breaks without having to disrupt their children’s education.”