Sheffield families happy to risk term-time holiday fines due to ‘extortionate’ summer breaks

Thousands of Sheffield parents have been taking their children on holiday during term-time. Pic: PA

Thousands of Sheffield parents have been taking their children on holiday during term-time. Pic: PA

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Parents say fining families for taking children on term-time breaks is not working – because of the ‘extortionate’ cost of going away during official holidays.

The Star revealed that more than 6,000 people have been issued with fines in Sheffield in the past three years for taking youngsters on unauthorised holidays.

The fines are £60, rising to £120 if not paid within three weeks.

But Star readers said paying a fine is still far cheaper for many than having their family break during the official school holidays.

Gayle McPherson said: “If holidays abroad weren’t around £1,000 to £2,000 more in school holidays, people wouldn’t take their kids out – end of!”

Tracy Allerton added: “If the child has good attendance, isn’t falling behind and behaves at school then there is no reason at all why they can’t have a week off at the beginning of the holidays.”

Rachel Barber said: “The fines were never going to stop parents taking their kids out of school. The Government and councils thought it would. But because it’s so expensive in the school holidays, it still works out cheaper to pay the fine, especially for a one-child family, and go when they are still in school.”

Sarah Gill said: “I think quality family time is just as important as school time. I would never do it during exam or revision time obviously but I do understand why some families do a term-time holiday. The prices are extortionate in school holidays.”

James Burns added: “Maybe something should happen to stop companies taking advantage hiking up the prices.”

But Katie Gough said there is an advantage to attending school as required.

She said: “My daughter got 100 per cent attendance for the term twice this year it makes her proud it makes me extremely proud of myself and she thrives from it.

“Just look at how much spending money you will take – can’t you take less and be price savvy and pay that little bit extra for holidays during break times?”