Posted on 23rd July 2015 at 9:27am
Ofsted Chief Sir Michael Wilshaw Wants Term Time School Holiday Fines Increased
Parents struggling to afford a family holiday when schools are closed have been ignoring the term time holiday ban and instead paid the £60 fine. Although parents are forced to pay the £60 or face court for non-payment, the small fine is still much cheaper than paying the high prices holiday companies want when schools are closed. However, that could be about to change.
Parents Ignore the Ban
Since the ban was brought in tens of thousands of parents have ignored the ban to book a cheaper holiday. As a result, Ofsted Chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has said the ban is not working and wants the fine to be increased. Some sources have claimed the ban will not work unless the fine is around £1,000 per child.
At the moment, parents are fined £60 per child, but if they fail to pay the fine, then they could be taken to court and be forced to pay up to £2,500 per child. The Ofsted Chief has said this is not enough to stop parents ignoring the ban.
Ofsted’s Chief Comments
He told The Sunday Times “I would like to see the fines raised. We have too many parents taking their children out in term time . . . I think schools should adopt a hard line and not allow the youngsters out.”
If parents don’t pay their fines, they can be threatened with court action – and Wilshaw says he supports this. “If parents are behaving irresponsibly then the state is right to say, ‘This is wrong, and you are being a bad parent’,” he said.
Not everyone supports the school term holiday ban. Tourism bosses in the UK have said the ban is damaging their industry. The government has been warned that tourism jobs are being affected by the ban and a spokesman for Tourism Society West country said, “The school ban has cost West Country tourism £87 million.”
Some teachers also think the ban is wrong and believe the ban is causing friction between schools and parents while some councils have called the ban unfair. The Local Government Association says the new rules do not recognise the complexities of family life and most parents agree.
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Supporting the call for action against blatant profiteering by some travel agents and the seemingly lack of consideration for hard working families in the UK by this current government.