Parents are risking jail to get cheaper summer holidays!
It’s no secret that the price of summer holidays abroad can quite easily become extortionate once the kids break up from school. It doesn’t help that it is now against the law to take children away during term time, however, some parents are still willing to risk a three-month prison sentence in order to save money!
Jackie Turner is one of these parents and she took her 9-year old daughter Hazel for a trip across Europe last November when she should have been at school. She assumed she would be fined the usual £60 fine which she thought was a small price to pay for a trip of a lifetime. However, had she of realised she’d be left facing a £2,500 fine, as well as a three-month prison sentence, she may have done things a little differently.
Jackie told ITV’s This Morning: ”Herefordshire council proceeded straight to a PACE interview and, five months later, prosecution through the courts, without us as parents ever being given the opportunity to pay a penalty fine. She probably got more educational benefit in those three weeks than she would have done in the rest of the year at school.”
Jackie, who is due to attend court in November, added: “It’s not in the public interest to be prosecuting parents when the parents have their children’s interest as the main priority.”
And Jackie isn’t the only one paying the price. With savings of more than £1,000 on a week in Spain when school is on, the number of parents taking kids on term time holidays has risen from three in ten last year to four in ten!
Research conducted by Nationwide Building Society has shown that mid-term breaks are on the rise as more parents are locked into work timetables that don’t allow them to take time off during the long school break.
It found more than half are struggling to be with the kids in the summer compared with just over a third a year ago. But cost is the biggest reason for children skipping lessons to spend time abroad with mum and dad as the price rockets by 68% as soon as schools break up.