Should parents be fined for taking kids out of school during term time?

We're half way through the year and it's around this time that many people start thinking about jetting off on a much needed break from the norm.

It's a well known fact that holiday prices tend to skyrocket when they are booked during the school holidays so for many parents choosing to take theirs during term time is the only way to keep the costs manageable.

But schools fine parents who take their children out of school and we reported this week how these fines will increase from August with UK government officials stressing that "every moment in school counts and days missed add up quickly".

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Currently, the fine for unauthorised school absences is £60 if paid within 21 days, increasing to £120 after 28 days.

However, from August, these amounts will rise to £80 and £160. The fine applies to each parent and child and non-payment could result in prosecution.

Do you think parents should be fined for taking kids out of school during term time? Have your say in our poll:

Should a parent incur a second fine for the same child within three years, the cost will be the increased amount of £160. A cap limits parents to two fines per child within this timeframe. Subsequent offences may lead to a parenting order, which includes attending parenting classes, or court action, potentially culminating in a fine of up to £2,500.

According to, children are only permitted to miss school under the following circumstances:

  • they are too ill to attend that day

  • you have asked in advance and been given permission by the school for your child to be absent on that day due to exceptional circumstances

  • it is a day you are taking part in religious observance.

  • your local authority is responsible for arranging your child’s transport to school and it is not available on that day or has not been provided yet

  • you are a gypsy/traveller family with no fixed abode and you are required to travel for work that day, meaning your child cannot attend their usual school