Posted on 19th April 2016 at 10:43am
Wolverhampton Parents Hit Back At Council Over School Term Holiday Fines.
It has been reported that more than 1,100 parents in Wolverhampton have been fined in the past three years for taking their children out of school for a family holiday. According to official records gained through the Freedom of Information act that amounts to £54,000 worth of fines.
Number of Parents Fined Rising
The number of parents who have been fined has soared in the past three years from 125 to 698 a year, showing the fine system is not only unfair but also doesn’t work. Although most parents paid the fines straight away, over the three year period, 61 of them refused and were taken to court.
Wolverhampton Council spokesman Paul Brown said: “The council wants the best possible education for children and for this to happen, they need to be attending school at all times unless there are exceptional circumstances.”
Although Wolverhampton Council has stood by the fine system and claimed they want the best for children, many parents have laughed off those claims. Some parents we spoke to have called on Wolverhampton Council to have a backbone and fight back against the government fine system and look at the real issue why parents are forced to take their children out of school.
One parent who did not wished to be named and has two children of school age said: “As a single parent my children have not had a holiday since the school ban came into force. My children have to settle for days out as I simply cannot afford to pay more than double the price of a holiday when the children are off school.”
Another parent we spoke to who has recently received a letter for taking his child out of school responded to the rise in the number of fines issued. He explained it was much cheaper to take his child out of school and pay the fine than pay hundreds more for the same holiday in the summer holidays.
He said: “The trick is, to pay the fine straight away and avoid going to court. I will continue to take my child out of school until the government sees sense and removes the fine system.”
When asked if he would still have that attitude if he were taken to court, he replied No!
Small Survey Results
After speaking to 30 parents at length we only found five parents that agreed with the ban, the others believed the ban was unfair and questioned why with so many parents against it, why was it still in force.
The general feeling was the ban should not be dictated to parents by the government and instead, should be set at a local level where councils and schools should be allowed to decide if they want to fine parents.
In previous articles, we have run on the school term fine system we have reported that not all councilors and headteachers agree with the ban. That could mean if the power was given to local authorities and schools then fewer parents could be fined, and more children would be able to enjoy a family holiday.
Although the fine system has been called unfair, it seems the parents in Wolverhampton will continue to fight back against the government and the council and continue to take their children out of school to give their families a well-deserved break.
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