Term Time School Fines

So my bank balance is £60 lighter due to being fined for taking Munchkin out of school during term time. Hubby still has to pay, he’s currently chosen to ignore his letter, (oh yes we got seperate letters, that’s how serious it all is!), but he will pay before the deadline.

You see if you don’t pay within a certain amount of time, you then have to pay £120. And then if you don’t pay that within about a week you could be taken to court and fined thousands with the risk of prison.

As if our prisons aren’t already overcrowded, although I personally haven’t heard of anyone being imprisoned yet about this….do correct me if I am wrong.

I can just about understand the logic behind fining parents, but the sad reality is that it is STILL cheaper to pay the fine, rather than go in the summer holidays. So to me it is a money making scheme for the councils rather than a deterrant.

We went 2 weeks before the Easter holidays and returned 2 days after school started. So Munchkin missed 13 days of school in total. By doing it this way we paid £1800 for the plane tickets; the cheapest fares I could find.  I have just checked the August fares and the tickets are currently £2800, with the prices potentially rising.


So to be blunt…..I would do it again and pay the fine.

£160 over £1000?

Now in no way am I advocating that you should all rush to taking your children during the term time. In fact when we went Turkey I ensured that it was in the school holidays and she didn’t miss any school days. It did cost more but Turkey was a luxury.

To me, Pakistan is not a holiday. It is an obligation I have to fulfill. To go and see my in laws and introduce their grandchildren to them. I know that there are 6 weeks in the summer holidays, but the temperature hits over 40 degrees, the electricity goes, there are issues with gas supplies and food. I ALWAYS get ill when we go and I am guessing that it would be even worse if we went in the summer holidays. WHY would I want to put my young children through that?

Why would I put my kids through that just to keep the school happy? To keep the government happy? They have no right to dictate how I bring up my children, or when I take them abroad to see family. I don’t do it every year and nor am I such an irresponsible parent that I would take them out of school if it was an exam year or if they were behind in their studies. Munchkin is a bright girl, pretty much top of her class alhamdulillah, and can catch up with any work she misses pretty quickly.

My children, my decision.




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  • I totally agree that it’s a money making scheme. I can understand that they don’t want children missing too much school, but the fining of parents doesn’t deal with the reason why children are missing days of school. Sometimes it is, as you say, due to huge extra costs to go on holiday in school holidays, sometimes it is for other reasons, but surely they need to deal with the reason in each family that is causing the child(ren) to miss school? I know that would be costly, but if they’re that concerned about it, it needs to be done that way.
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    • The schools used to have discretion to grant 10 days leave and they usually did if the child’s attendance was above a certain percentage. Now that right has been taken away, although they have discretion it is only for exceptional circumstances and the schools are reluctant to grant the time off.

      It needs to go back to the 10 days being allowed if the child has good attendance. That was fair

  • Wow… I had no idea that schools can actually fine you for pulling the kids out for vacation! I’m totally with you… it’s your decision and you shouldn’t be fined for it. I don’t know if that’s the case in here in the US or not, but it’s just one more point for homeschooling, in my book :P.

  • I did not know that you had to pay a fine for this. It sends quite crazy to me. At the end of the day it is not dramatic if one child misses a couple of days of school. This trip sounds like exceptionnal circumstance to me.
    To be true, here in France many kids miss at least 15 days every year to go on holidays. And I am not sure parents are paying for it, or you can be sure they would demonstrate!!
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