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Quarter of parents find it cheaper to pay fine than holiday in the summer

Almost a quarter of parents think it’s cheaper to pay the newly imposed fines for taking their children out of school than splash out on an expensive holiday during the summer break.

A study by GoCompare found that of the 17% of parents that have taken a family holiday during the school term, 23% think it’s still cheaper than paying the fines for absence. “Foreign holidays outside term-time tend to be considerably more expensive than in the weeks leading up to them,” said Caroline Lloyd from Gocompare.com, “So for some families the only way they can have afford to take their kids abroad is to holiday during the school term.”

Families that choose to take their holidays at off-peak times saved an average of £646 – making it much cheaper to pay the £60 fine. The fines were introduced at the beginning of this year’s school term in September 2013. They prohibit head teachers from granting 10 days of absence per year for holidays.

Ms Lloyd explains the new legislation: “If parents take their children out of school without first seeking the school’s permission or take their children out after permission has been denied, they could be given a penalty notice fine of £60 per child.” Of the families that admitted to holidaying while their children should be in school, over a third (35%) said that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to take their kids on holiday.

They could reduce the cost of overseas holidays by comparing the price of flights, hotels and travel insurance, but the total may still exceed prices during the school term. The majority of parents were happy for their children to miss four days of school, while just less than a quarter would accept a full week and 17% would be prepared to accept a 10-day absence.

Over half (54%) of parents questioned in the survey said that the government should cap price hikes on during school holidays.

Date Created: 03 April 2014

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