More than half (53%) of UK parents would be prepared for their child to miss a week of school in order to take a cheaper term time holiday, a study commissioned by Gocompare.com has found. A further 30% of parents would take them out for 6 to 10 days or more
Parents also estimated that they had or would save an average of £679.50 on the cost of their holiday by taking their child out of school for some or all of it, but nearly 1 in 5 (19%) parents estimated their saving would be over £1000. 57% would not be put off by the threat of a fine for truancy.
- 68% of parents are against fines for taking children out of school for family holidays
- 53% would be prepared for their child to miss a week (5 days) of school or more
- £679.50 – average estimated saving on holiday cost made by parents taking some or all of their holiday in term time
- 19% of parents estimated they’d saved £1000 or more
- 57% would not be put off by the threat of a Local Authority fine
The survey of parents whose children have attended school in the last three years, has revealed that over two thirds (68%) disagreed with fining parents for taking their children out of school for family holidays and 57% would not be put off by the threat of a local authority fine. 56% said that they would take their child out of school anyway, if permission for an authorised absence was refused, and 45% said they would report their child as sick.
Families face fines of £60.00 per child if the local authority decides to pursue the matter, rising to £120 if fines are not paid within 21 days. Refusal to pay could result in a £2500 fine and up to a 3 month jail sentence.
Caroline Lloyd, spokesperson for Gocompare.com Travel Insurance, said: “The subject of term time holidays has come close to sparking a parents’ revolt. With holiday and flight prices jumping substantially at the start of the school holidays and falling again when the children go back to school, it’s no surprise that parents are fed up with being made to feel like criminals for trying to have a family holiday they can afford.
“Unless the Government compels travel companies and airlines to cap school holiday price increases or introduces staggered school holiday periods to reduce the effects of a six week high season, parents will have to resign themselves to either paying more for their holidays and staying on the right side of the school and education authority, or, in extreme cases, breaking the rules and risking a fine. With a family saving over £600 by taking children out of school for their holiday, it’s not hard to see why some parents aren’t put off by a fine from their local authority.”
Notes to editors:
*On 17 March 2015, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 1,820 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists and have holidayed abroad. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding