Parents threatened with JAIL for taking their kids on holiday during term time
3 May 2019, 10:45 | Updated: 3 May 2019, 11:18
The parents from Cambridgeshire have been served with a four-week suspended sentence
Parents are facing a stint behind bars after taking their child out of school during term time for a family holiday.
Families often choose to go chasing the sun in term time due to the signifficantly lower costs than going in the peak season of summer or Christmas holidays.
The parents from Cambridgeshire had already taken their child out of school without authroisation on two occasions, which resulted in multiples fines.
After they failed to pay the Penalty Notice fines, it lead to a court summons and further fines, including costs totalling £440 for the first offence, and £1752 for the second.
The couple attended a court hearing at the end of April, with the magistrates taking their previous offences into account when issuing the suspended service.
The parents must now complete 20 days of RAR (Rehabilitation Activity Requirement) and will each pay court costs of £165.
Mahgistrates then warned the parents that taking their child on another term time holiday would result in the suspended prison sentence being activated, and they would be jailed for four weeks.
Jonathan Lewis, Service Director for Education, explained: "The Local Authority firmly believes that for pupils to progress and achieve their full potential they need to have a good level of school attendance.
"Regular school attendance gives your child the best possible start in life from the time they start in reception. Children who frequently miss school are far more likely to fall behind with their work across the curriculum, and thus fail to reach their true potential."
In September 2013, a regulations amendment stated that term time absence could only be granted in 'exceptional circumstances'.
The change resulted in a dramatic drop in authorised holiday absence, but a clear increase in parents taking children away without the school's approval - according to official Government statistics.