Tolworth Girls' School parents face 'truancy fines' for unauthorised school holidays

Surrey Comet: Tolworth Girls' School headteacher Siobhan Lowe said the fines would discourage long holidays Tolworth Girls' School headteacher Siobhan Lowe said the fines would discourage long holidays

Parents could be fined up to £120 by Tolworth Girls' School if they take their children on holiday during term-time without permission.

The school is the first in the borough to trial the fixed penalty notices scheme, which it says will combat unnecessary long-term absences.

If parents refuse to pay they could end up in front of magistrates facing a fine of up to £2,500.

Siobhan Lowe, headteacher of Tolworth Girls’ School, said: “It is incredibly frustrating when parents take students out, sometimes for a month at a time, and we used to have no power at all to do anything about it.

"The parents’ response has been mainly positive so far."

If pupils constantly miss school their parents will receive a written warning, after which they have 15 school days to make an improvement.

If absences continue,  parents will be given 28 days to pay a £60 fine or see it double to £120.

Court proceedings would be issued after 42 days where parents could end up in front of magistrates with a fine of up to £2,500.

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Comments (1)

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4:18pm Wed 9 Jan 13

little smiff says...

Problem with a scheme like this is that a family could still end up saving money by taking the child out of school and paying the £60 fine. The price differential between peak and non peak holiday charges is so vast that it makes economic sense to holiday during term time. This issue should be tackled from a different direction. Why do holiday establishments charge, for example, £300 a week for a caravan in April but £1,200 for the same unit in July and August?
Problem with a scheme like this is that a family could still end up saving money by taking the child out of school and paying the £60 fine. The price differential between peak and non peak holiday charges is so vast that it makes economic sense to holiday during term time. This issue should be tackled from a different direction. Why do holiday establishments charge, for example, £300 a week for a caravan in April but £1,200 for the same unit in July and August? little smiff
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