Medway school parents would rather pay fines and save on holidays

Parents from Medway are willing to pay fines for taking their children out of school.

The law to decrease absence numbers has not been as successful as planned, because parents cannot afford to go away during school holidays.

Travel agents and holiday companies increase their prices during this period, until children go back to school.

Holiday prices rise over half term

A BBC report said Wales have not seen any decrease in absence rates since the fines were put in place.

Government statistics have also revealed that the percentage of pupils who missed at least one day due to a family holiday in 2016/17 was 16.9%, in comparison to 14.7% in 2015/16.

In order to save money, parents choose to take their children out of school during term time, even though they know they will get given a fine for an unauthorised absence.

Angela Warner a Medway parent said: “I understand schools want to discourage parents from taking children out of school.

“However, I would accept the risk of being fined.

“The higher prices of holidays during school breaks far out weighs the cost of a fine.”

In Medway and Kent, the overall absence rate for 2016/17 was 4.9 – 5.0%, the second highest ranking in the UK.

Medway and Kent absence numbers

Even though absence numbers have risen, parents do not feel that taking time out of school will have a major effect on their children’s education.

Jo Garlinge another parent from Medway said: “It depends on the length of time that the child is away from school, up to two weeks and the child can catch up.

“A longer period of time may effect education”.

However, nothing has yet been said as to whether the rules will become stricter due to the increase.