Mum’s fury at being fined for taking child out of school for eight days

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The parent took to Mumsanet to explain that her child was “top of year” and the absence had no effect on their education. She asked other parents if it was unreasonable to “be a bit p***** off” after receiving the fine.

In the thread, she wrote: “Just got penalty notice letters for DH (dear husband) and I. We only took DC (dear child) out of school last month for 8 days, first ever time. I didn’t think a penalty was given unless DC is taken out for 10 days?

“DC had 100% attendance outside of that and is top of year. No effect on education at all. Had assessments the week after we returned and got 97-100%! Am I being unreasonable to be a bit p***** off the school ran straight to LA to rat on us?”

Her post attracted dozens of responses from other parents, Chronicle Live reports. Many users said she should have been prepared to pay the fine if she chose to keep her child off school. A number of people criticised the mother for taking the youngster out of school.

One said: “Ran to the LEA (Local Education Authority) to rat on you. Are you 12? You took your child out of school, pay the fine an stop complaining.”

Another added: “I’m not sure what you are complaining about? You took him out of school for nearly two weeks. Do you think you shouldn’t get fined because he’s top of the class? The schools are obligated to report attendance.”

A third wrote: “You just plan the cost of the fine into cosy of holiday. Also 8 days missed is quite a lot, usually it would just be 5 days if missed the whole week, or a couple of days if you go early before a school holiday. Your child had an unauthorised absence, not sure what you expected.”

One comment read: “You denied your child an education. Well done. A fine is the least of your worries, you may want to revisit your priorities.”

And another parent posted: “It’s strange how the parents who complain about this always have children who are top of the class as if that should make them immune. If you take your children out you risk a fine. It’s that’s simple. I am taking Ds out for 5 days next year. I have factored in the possibility of a fine.”

Some admitted they had also previously taken their kids out of school knowing they could receive a fine. One mum said: “In 2020 I took my 3 kids out of school for a ski trip and got fined £360. A few weeks later they were off school for a whole term because of Covid so that was pretty annoying! However I knew I would get fined when I took them out, you just have to suck it up.”

Another added: “We got our letters with fines this week for a trip we took in May one week half term, one week we took DD out well worth the savings on a trip to USA. We made that choice, we facing the consequences.”

Others highlighted the high costs of going on holiday during peak time. One mum commented: “I think a family holiday is extremely important and the reality is travelling is so much cheaper in term time. Some families may miss the opportunity to have a holiday if they can only go at Easter or in the summer break! And no, generally people don’t want to go camping in the rain down in Dorset.

“The government should be regulating the travel industry to make the cost of holidays fairer and more accessible to everyone during the school holidays. Think about how long you have your children for… it’s such a short period of time before they go off and make their own way in the world. Taking them out of school here and there for precious family time during their childhood will not mean they fail their GCSEs and end up on benefits! If you’re worried about getting a fine just contact the school and tell them your DC has covid.”

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