FAMILIES have been hard done by this year as holidays are cancelled because of the traffic light system and prices rocket with demand.
Holidays are always cheaper during school term times in contrast to the demand to go away during the summer holidays.
So many parents wanting to shave a few pounds off the family holiday might be tempted by the cheaper excursions on offer now the kids have gone back to school.
But you'll have to weigh up wether a few days off in the sun are worth the fines you might have to pay as a consequence for their absence.
Parents are reminded that taking young children out of school during term time is an offence that carries with it a £120 fine.
So the money you could save on the cheeky break away could end up worthless if the fine you find slapped in front of you on your return works out to be more.
We explain everything you need to know.
When can I take my child on holiday?
When schools break up for half term, summer holidays or even bank holiday weekends and inset days, you are more than entitled to take the kids away on holiday.
But any time during the school term can be at headteacher’s discretion and it can vary between institutions so you're best off getting in touch with their administration office to check.
Schools will follow governing regulations coupled with their own decisions to ultimately decide if it’s okay to take your child out of school.
But it will only usually be in exceptional circumstances that they will authorise absence during term time.
The circumstances usually include family trauma, illness or a family member passing away.
If you’re taking your child out of school, you will need written consent from the head teacher approving the leave.
How can I persuade my child’s school to allow holiday leave?
You should send a holiday request letter asking permission to the headteacher with the reasoning behind the requested absence.
That being said, no school will agree to a child missing more than 10 days of lessons during the school year unless there is a very good reason.
This includes the exceptional circumstances that might be the reason behind taking them out of school.
If you do have exceptional circumstances you could try asking the teacher if there’s any school work you could take with you for them to work on while away so they don't miss the crucial learning periods.
Once the school has made up its mind on holiday leave though, this decision will most likely be final.
What happens if I go away anyway?
You could find that you receive a fine when you get back.
That could be up to £120, as many schools disclose.
In some cases parents have disputed the fines and ended up in court.
But if you're found guilty you could end up with an even bigger fine of up to £2,500 or even a criminal record, or imprisonment of up to three months.
If you are thinking about it, it’s important to consider that a school is more likely to be comfortable with a child going away if their attendance record has previously been 100%, though that doesn't guarantee anything.
Plus you shouldn't request time off, and once it's denied, go anyway under the pretence of illness or other excuse.
If that's the case then the school is more likely to be suspicious of your time off, and then is when heavier penalties could arise.
But in contrary to the rules and regulations, one mum took her six-year-old out of primary school for two years to go on holiday and said he learnt more from their epic journey than he ever could in a classroom.
Meanwhile others mums have complained as one slammed a primary school for refusing to let her take her daughter on a "once in a lifetime" holiday during term time.
Plus another was told she couldn't take her son out of school for their last ever holiday together because it’s not "exceptional circumstances".
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