Hazel Grove Forum

A Suburb in Stockport

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TwistedBanana posted..

As there is a landmark case in court today in relation to a parent who is fighting the fine he received for taking his child out of school during term time, I thought i would see what peoples thoughts are. My thoughts are listed below.

I have real concerns about this policy and how it is used. Initially the policy of fining parents for their child's non-attendance was brought in to punish the parents of serial "waggers", those kids who were hanging around shopping centres when they should have been in school. It was meant to be a wake up call to these parents to deal with their offspring or face punishment.

Typically though, the councils soon realised that getting these people to pay the fines was a non-starter, too much hassle. So they re-targeted and started to chase the easier prey, the parents who don't want to be dragged through courts, who don't want to have their name tarnished, the parents who sometimes due to their own working hours or due to cost, take their child out of school for a family holiday. So once again, the many are being punished for the sins of the few. Kids have been taken out of school for a week here or a week there for many years, i don't imagine any child has ever been affected in anyway. As long as the parent avoids critical times like exams ect, and doesn't take them out in the final year of schooling then I don't believe there will be any negative affect on that child. If that was the case then any child who has a week off with flu is going to fail in life.

A major critical point of this rule is that the fine is £60.00 per parent. So a single parent takes their child out of school gets fined £60.00. A two parent family get charged £120.00 in both cases multiplied again by child. How can this be anything more than a money making exercise, it makes absolutely no sense.

Common sense seems to have been thrown out of the window.

We also have the situation where many schools have different holidays, having a child in primary and one in senior school could pretty much mean that family vacations can only ever happen in the Summer holidays now due to other holidays falling out of line with each other

Be aware that I am not coming at this from a disgruntled parent angle, I have one child left in school and he is heading in to his final year.

I would be interested to hear other views on this