Thousands support dad’s petition against school fines for unauthorised holidays

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A DAD is set to spark a Parliamentary debate over the right of schools to fine parents for taking their children on holiday during term time.

Dave Hedley launched an online petition on Monday and this morning it was expected to pass the 100,000 signatures mark.

That means the Government will consider the issue for Parliamentary debate.

Mr Hedley set up the poll, which has been signed by more than 500 people in Portsmouth, after being fined for taking his children out of school for five days despite it being the only time they could get away during his wife’s cancer treatment.

His petition says: ‘Back in 2013 the government changed the law on taking your children out of school in term time so that now you receive a penalty fine of £60 per child per parent. This can increase.

‘The law prevents families from taking term-time holidays forcing families to pay extra during school holidays.

The Nottinghamshire dad added: ‘Myself and my wife received a fine for our two eldest children (two fines each parent) for taking our children on holiday for five days in term time, which was the only week free from surgery and radiotherapy (school knew of cancer diagnosis).

‘This apparently is not an exceptional circumstance. Councils are too ready to fine and won’t consider exceptional circumstances.

‘We strongly felt that these school penalty notices create an injustice to many families whose children do attend regularly at school and value their child’s education.

‘The fines do not allow for those struggling families who are experiencing exceptional circumstances through no fault of their own and need to take their children out of school for a few days.

‘These school fines in reality affect all of society in view of the increased holiday prices and increased travel fares at peak holiday times. To bring back the ten day authorised absence would help those families struggling to take holiday leave during the school holidays.’

*Have you been fined for taking your child out of school during term time? If so let us know your story by emailing newsdesk@thenews.co.uk