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Mum ‘fully prepared’ to go to court rather than pay fine for holiday during term time

Mum ‘fully prepared’ to go to court rather than pay fine for holiday during term time

She took her daughter on holiday the week after the Easter break

A mum has said she’s ‘fully prepared’ to go to court after she took her child out of school during term time to go on a family holiday.

The unnamed mum is now facing prosecution after refusing to pay the fine that was given due to the unauthorised absence of her daughter from Howard Community Academy in Bury St Edmunds.

The mum went on a £99 caravan holiday to Skegness with her daughter and parents in the week following the Easter break.

The woman told Suffolk News that she put in a holiday request form with the school and claims that it wasn’t declined, leading her to believe she could go.

But weeks after they returned home, the single mum was hit with a penalty notice for £60, which has since gone up to £120.

She has now had final notice from the local council telling her it will begin legal proceedings against her.

The 31-year-old told Suffolk News: “I have had the final notice saying if I don’t pay it I will go to court, which I’m fully prepared to do because I didn’t get my decline. Had I known I would have more than likely not taken her.”

The mum decided to take her child out of school during term time.

She went on to say that taking a child on holiday during the school holidays is ‘very expensive’.

“You can see it goes up day by day,” she said. “But when a child’s attendance is so high, it’s really bad they are fining parents.”

According to the school’s policy, dated October 2022, term-time holiday requests have increased and the school says parents should be aware that unless there are exceptional circumstances they will be refused.

Alison Weir, headteacher of Howard Community Academy, said: “While we understand the importance of family holidays for our pupils’ wellbeing, good attendance is absolutely fundamental to a successful and fulfilling school experience, particularly given the recent loss of time in school during to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Howard Community Academy in Bury St Edmunds.
Google Maps

“Regular attendance at school maximises progress in learning and helps our pupils to reach their full potential.

“Like all schools, we are required to adhere to national attendance regulations and the laws state that headteachers are unable to grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

“The Government is clear that applications for holiday or leave during term time cannot be authorised and to avoid difficulty or disappointment, we ask our parents to refrain from making such requests.

“Working with Education Welfare Officers, we share requests for unauthorised absence with Suffolk County Council, who are responsible for issuing fines and communication to parents.”

Featured Image Credit: Pexels/Pixabay/Google Maps

Topics: Life, Parenting, Travel