Northamptonshire parents defying ban on term-time breaks by taking children out of school

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Parents in Northamptonshire are increasingly defying the Government’s ban on taking their children out of school during term time, new figures have shown.

A Freedom of Information request by the Chron has revealed that 105 parents were issued with penalty notices during the first school year after £60 penalty fines were issued for parents whose children had any unauthorised absence in term time.

From September 1 to November 18, 2014, a total of 93 penalty notices were issued. If this continues at the same rate throughout the academic year, the amount of parents being fined is likely to triple compared to the previous year.

In 2012/13, before the Government introduced the zero tolerance policy for term-time absence, only 15 parents were fined by the council for their children having “irregular” attendance at school.

Writing on the Chronicle & Echo’s Facebook page, Northamptonshire parent Amanda McSheen said she was taking her child out of school for a week in May and was prepared to pay the £60 fine.

She said: “I’m taking my child out for seven days next May and have had a letter from school saying they won’t 
authorise it so I may get fined.

“My child has 100 per cent 
attendance so think it’s unfair it’s okay for schools to close 
for training days and snow days,” she added.

Parent Alicia Tatum said: “I will continue to take my daughter out of school during term time until she is of an exam age.

“If I’m fined, I’m still better off.”