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Parents In The UK Face Heavy Fines For Taking Kids Out Of School For Vacation

By Sharelle Burt

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Traveling isn’t just for single people. Family vacations are still a thing, which means the kids might have to miss some school. Sounds innocent enough. If you live in England, however, there’s a price to pay.

Parents are being fined almost $1,300 per child for unauthorized absences, including family vacations. The council in Lancashire County implemented a system where parents will be issued a penalty is their child has missed five or more days of school. Isn’t paying for a family vacation enough? In an official letter passed down by Sarah Richardson, headteacher of Balladen Community Primary School in Rossendale, Richardson wrote: “Holidays must not be taken during term time and government legislation prevents schools from granting leave of absence unless there are exceptional circumstances.”

RELATED: This Traveling Mom Schools Us On How To Travel With Small Kids

This is standard in the school systems in the UK. “All mums in England are handcuffed to the school calendar for vacations once children turn 4, which is why I traveled so much during my maternity leave,” family travel contributor Kathleen Kristiansen said. “Even taking the Friday before school vacation can put you in the bad books with the school, facing potential expulsion even at public schools.” During the 2016-2107 school year, Lancashire handed out over 6,000 fines to parents for unauthorized absences, one of the highest rates in the county. “School attendance is given high priority in Lancashire and rightly so, as every day counts in each pupil’s education,” Councillor Susie Charles said. “To make sure that all children and young people receive a good education, we are considering any possible action that could be taken in the future to reduce unauthorized absences. ”

Two years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that parents who take their kids out of school could face prosecution. It’s not much different here in the United States. Families could be issued a fine of up to $500 if ten or more unexcused school days are missed. The California Department of Education is very strict. Students and parents can be fined by missing just 30 minutes of school three times during the school year. After the fourth strike, a $100 fine can be issued, with the amount increasing up to $2,000 or a year in county jail.

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