North East mother of two says: “Schools do not dictate. If I wanted to take my children away from school for something beneficial then I would”

A North East mother of two children has said that ‘schools do not dictate’ when it comes to making the decision to take her children out of school during term time.

Her statement follows petitions that have been rapidly gathering signatures around the UK to allow parents to take their children out of school during term time for one week per year.

The Government has responded to these requests reminding parents of the importance of ensuring their children achieve 100 per cent attendance during the 190-day school year. Research into children’s absence from school shows that any ‘absence from school is linked to low levels of attainment’ and can even see children labelled as ‘liable for interruptions to other students and their teacher’s workload’.

Permission is required from the Head Teacher of your child’s school to take your child out during term time and it is also up to them to decide how many days your child is permitted or not.

A statement from the Sunderland City Council website states: “Good attendance at school is the single most important factor in ensuring that children and young people have the best opportunities in adult life.”

Prosecutions for taking your children out of school during term time when unpermitted by the local authorities or your schools Head Teacher can vary from as little as a parenting order to fines of up to £2,500 and three months imprisonment.

Parents main reasoning for taking their children out of school during term time is the dramatic difference in prices for family holidays.

A North East mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “When travel companies don’t ramp up in price just because the school holidays have arrived then people may consider being more careful as to when they book a holiday.

“There are many days of the term where social activities and watching films take place, do they outweigh taking your child out of school for a few days a year within reason?”

When SR News asked her on her opinion on the introduction of prosecutions, she said: “I think this is disgraceful, they are your children, not theirs, they don’t know what’s best for them.”

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