Swindon AdvertiserSwindon parents fined tens of thousands of pounds for children missing school (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Swindon parents fined tens of thousands of pounds for children missing school

Swindon Advertiser: St Joseph's Catholic College St Joseph's Catholic College

PARENTS were issued with tens of thousands of pounds in fines between them last year, after their children took unauthorised absences from school.

The biggest number was at St Joseph’s Catholic College where 115 families were given the £50 penalty between 2011 and 2012.

The fines, which are issued by Swindon Council on behalf of the college, resulted in £5,750 being paid out.

The year before the total was even higher, with 125 parents being issued with the charge after their children missed classes at the Ocotal Way campus.

Isambard Community School in North Swindon had the next biggest total in the last academic year with 93 fines, followed by Drove Primary School with 47 and Even Swindon Primary School with 32. Ridgeway in Wroughton issued 20 and Churchfields Academy 19 in.

The vast majority of fines were issued for holidays during term time, and some schools are understood to have stricter policies than others.

The figures were released by the council after a Freedom of Information Act request by the Adver.

In total, 415 parents were issued with fines last year, totalling £20,750, compared with 453 between 2010 and 2011.

A spokesman for the authority said: “We are asked to issue the fines by schools, and any money that we receive is ring-fenced and can only be used for improving attendances in schools across the borough, such as more promotion or leaflets and supporting the council’s education welfare team.

“If a child has been absent for five days, the education welfare team and the Children Missing Education Officer are informed and various actions can be taken, including home visits, liaising with other agencies involved with the family and identifying a lead professional who will offer support to the family.

“Action will also include contacting other local authorities to see if a child has moved out of Swindon, contacting health professionals to verify if a child is sick and, if necessary, taking legal action against parents for unauthorised absence.”

Comments (15)

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9:58pm Tue 22 Jan 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

If all they are getting is a £50 fine, then the saving they make by booking holidays during term time will more than pay for it. Probably several times over.

Personally as long as the student has good attendance records, a positive academic record and isn't scheduled to sit exams then I don't see a problem with being absent for a week.

I'm sure stuff like leaflets are money well spent..... Not!
If all they are getting is a £50 fine, then the saving they make by booking holidays during term time will more than pay for it. Probably several times over. Personally as long as the student has good attendance records, a positive academic record and isn't scheduled to sit exams then I don't see a problem with being absent for a week. I'm sure stuff like leaflets are money well spent..... Not! LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 1

10:19pm Tue 22 Jan 13

Robh says...

Some schools seem to quite two faced about this. If parents have 2 or more children at the same school they allow one time off but refuse the other(s). Joined up thinking is required. What are parents to do leave them at home alone?
Some schools seem to quite two faced about this. If parents have 2 or more children at the same school they allow one time off but refuse the other(s). Joined up thinking is required. What are parents to do leave them at home alone? Robh
  • Score: 0

10:50pm Tue 22 Jan 13

toasted says...

From my kids unauthorised absence form...

"If an absence is unauthorised, the Local Authority could issue a fine of £50 per child, per parent, per day. If the fine is not paid it could result in prosecution."

so thats £1000/week for two children!
From my kids unauthorised absence form... "If an absence is unauthorised, the Local Authority could issue a fine of £50 per child, per parent, per day. If the fine is not paid it could result in prosecution." so thats £1000/week for two children! toasted
  • Score: 0

12:51am Wed 23 Jan 13

SpeakUp says...

The fine system is great - keeps our 'out of school hols' hols cheap and free of other people's kids :)
The fine system is great - keeps our 'out of school hols' hols cheap and free of other people's kids :) SpeakUp
  • Score: -1

6:42am Wed 23 Jan 13

swindondad says...

I did take my eldest two out of school for a holiday when they were at primary school (they missed the last week of term) but would not dream of doing it with children in there exam years. However if the LEA can fine you for not sending your kids to school why can't we fine them when they have a "snow Day" or "teachers shopping day sorry TD day".
I did take my eldest two out of school for a holiday when they were at primary school (they missed the last week of term) but would not dream of doing it with children in there exam years. However if the LEA can fine you for not sending your kids to school why can't we fine them when they have a "snow Day" or "teachers shopping day sorry TD day". swindondad
  • Score: 0

7:52am Wed 23 Jan 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

@Toasted

Depending on your holiday, even a £1000 saving can be made by booking during term time.
@Toasted Depending on your holiday, even a £1000 saving can be made by booking during term time. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 0

8:33am Wed 23 Jan 13

house on the hill says...

""LordAshOfTheBrake says...
7:52am Wed 23 Jan 13

@Toasted

Depending on your holiday, even a £1000 saving can be made by booking during term time.”""


So not much of a deterrant then really. But just a symptom of today's society that parents dont care about the rules and are happy to pay fines and dont respect the schools and then no doubt moan about the teachers.
""LordAshOfTheBrake says... 7:52am Wed 23 Jan 13 @Toasted Depending on your holiday, even a £1000 saving can be made by booking during term time.”"" So not much of a deterrant then really. But just a symptom of today's society that parents dont care about the rules and are happy to pay fines and dont respect the schools and then no doubt moan about the teachers. house on the hill
  • Score: -1

9:58am Wed 23 Jan 13

Even Angrier Monkey says...

house on the hill wrote:
""LordAshOfTheB
rake says... 7:52am Wed 23 Jan 13 @Toasted Depending on your holiday, even a £1000 saving can be made by booking during term time.”"" So not much of a deterrant then really. But just a symptom of today's society that parents dont care about the rules and are happy to pay fines and dont respect the schools and then no doubt moan about the teachers.
Or perhaps the parents take the view that they know what is best for their kids.
.
Common sense says that missing 1 week of school at the end of term (where the kids often are not really doing much in terms of learning) has no impact on the childs education whatsover.
.
Thats the thing about rules - when they dont make much sense, people wont respect them.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: ""LordAshOfTheB rake says... 7:52am Wed 23 Jan 13 @Toasted Depending on your holiday, even a £1000 saving can be made by booking during term time.”"" So not much of a deterrant then really. But just a symptom of today's society that parents dont care about the rules and are happy to pay fines and dont respect the schools and then no doubt moan about the teachers.[/p][/quote]Or perhaps the parents take the view that they know what is best for their kids. . Common sense says that missing 1 week of school at the end of term (where the kids often are not really doing much in terms of learning) has no impact on the childs education whatsover. . Thats the thing about rules - when they dont make much sense, people wont respect them. Even Angrier Monkey
  • Score: 1

10:27am Wed 23 Jan 13

Robh says...

With the latest reports on obesity perhaps more kids should have time off during school terms to keep them fit.
With the latest reports on obesity perhaps more kids should have time off during school terms to keep them fit. Robh
  • Score: 0

1:14pm Wed 23 Jan 13

house on the hill says...

""Even Angrier Monkey says...
9:58am Wed 23 Jan 13

Thats the thing about rules - when they dont make much sense, people wont respect them.”"

so basically then we shouldnt care about rules and make our own minds up about whether we follow them or not plus there are lots of different interpretations of "sense" too.

As I said it is a symptom of todays society that people think the world revolves around them and they can pick and choose what rules and laws they abide by. I bet if you made "rules" in your home or work you would expect eveyone to respect them. So if someone came into your house and you didnt want smoking in your house and they lit up because they felt your rules didnt make sense that would be ok? I bet not.

Rules arent there for us to pick and choose which ones we follow otherwise why have them at all. Its just the usual double standards that so many live their lives by these days. Respect is not a word that many understand today (or responsibility either) which contributes to the mess we have in society today.
""Even Angrier Monkey says... 9:58am Wed 23 Jan 13 Thats the thing about rules - when they dont make much sense, people wont respect them.”" so basically then we shouldnt care about rules and make our own minds up about whether we follow them or not plus there are lots of different interpretations of "sense" too. As I said it is a symptom of todays society that people think the world revolves around them and they can pick and choose what rules and laws they abide by. I bet if you made "rules" in your home or work you would expect eveyone to respect them. So if someone came into your house and you didnt want smoking in your house and they lit up because they felt your rules didnt make sense that would be ok? I bet not. Rules arent there for us to pick and choose which ones we follow otherwise why have them at all. Its just the usual double standards that so many live their lives by these days. Respect is not a word that many understand today (or responsibility either) which contributes to the mess we have in society today. house on the hill
  • Score: 0

1:59pm Wed 23 Jan 13

PJC says...

house on the hill wrote:
""Even Angrier Monkey says...
9:58am Wed 23 Jan 13

Thats the thing about rules - when they dont make much sense, people wont respect them.”"

so basically then we shouldnt care about rules and make our own minds up about whether we follow them or not plus there are lots of different interpretations of "sense" too.

As I said it is a symptom of todays society that people think the world revolves around them and they can pick and choose what rules and laws they abide by. I bet if you made "rules" in your home or work you would expect eveyone to respect them. So if someone came into your house and you didnt want smoking in your house and they lit up because they felt your rules didnt make sense that would be ok? I bet not.

Rules arent there for us to pick and choose which ones we follow otherwise why have them at all. Its just the usual double standards that so many live their lives by these days. Respect is not a word that many understand today (or responsibility either) which contributes to the mess we have in society today.
Well said!
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: ""Even Angrier Monkey says... 9:58am Wed 23 Jan 13 Thats the thing about rules - when they dont make much sense, people wont respect them.”" so basically then we shouldnt care about rules and make our own minds up about whether we follow them or not plus there are lots of different interpretations of "sense" too. As I said it is a symptom of todays society that people think the world revolves around them and they can pick and choose what rules and laws they abide by. I bet if you made "rules" in your home or work you would expect eveyone to respect them. So if someone came into your house and you didnt want smoking in your house and they lit up because they felt your rules didnt make sense that would be ok? I bet not. Rules arent there for us to pick and choose which ones we follow otherwise why have them at all. Its just the usual double standards that so many live their lives by these days. Respect is not a word that many understand today (or responsibility either) which contributes to the mess we have in society today.[/p][/quote]Well said! PJC
  • Score: 0

2:32pm Wed 23 Jan 13

batch says...

Oh no, a pupil has missed the last week of a school term, society is breaking down, anarchy is raining upon us.

Thank the lord for a £50 fine to remedy the situation, which in no way is largely a simple money making exercise more than a deterrent. Oh.
Oh no, a pupil has missed the last week of a school term, society is breaking down, anarchy is raining upon us. Thank the lord for a £50 fine to remedy the situation, which in no way is largely a simple money making exercise more than a deterrent. Oh. batch
  • Score: 0

9:53pm Wed 23 Jan 13

faatmaan says...

and how do you decide if a religious trip for a long period is merely a cover for an extended break, i bet very few parents of a certain suasion have been penalised, and this goes on continually, i believe it is human right to have a family holiday, do teachers who have excessive time away from the job for say stress, undermine and disrupt pupils schooling due to a lack of continuity.
and how do you decide if a religious trip for a long period is merely a cover for an extended break, i bet very few parents of a certain suasion have been penalised, and this goes on continually, i believe it is human right to have a family holiday, do teachers who have excessive time away from the job for say stress, undermine and disrupt pupils schooling due to a lack of continuity. faatmaan
  • Score: 0

10:13am Thu 24 Jan 13

Even Angrier Monkey says...

house on the hill wrote:
""Even Angrier Monkey says... 9:58am Wed 23 Jan 13 Thats the thing about rules - when they dont make much sense, people wont respect them.”" so basically then we shouldnt care about rules and make our own minds up about whether we follow them or not plus there are lots of different interpretations of "sense" too. As I said it is a symptom of todays society that people think the world revolves around them and they can pick and choose what rules and laws they abide by. I bet if you made "rules" in your home or work you would expect eveyone to respect them. So if someone came into your house and you didnt want smoking in your house and they lit up because they felt your rules didnt make sense that would be ok? I bet not. Rules arent there for us to pick and choose which ones we follow otherwise why have them at all. Its just the usual double standards that so many live their lives by these days. Respect is not a word that many understand today (or responsibility either) which contributes to the mess we have in society today.
I'm a law abiding kind of bloke. I dont swan around doing whatever I like at the expense of everyone else. But I also have a mind of my own and wil question things that clearly dont make any sense, and that are clearly a revenue generating excerise.
.
My parents took me out of school a few times to go on familiy holidays (fines didnt exist in those days). My parents are responsible well educated people with good jobs. I got good exams results at school. years later, I have a decent job. Society didnt fall apart becasue of this.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: ""Even Angrier Monkey says... 9:58am Wed 23 Jan 13 Thats the thing about rules - when they dont make much sense, people wont respect them.”" so basically then we shouldnt care about rules and make our own minds up about whether we follow them or not plus there are lots of different interpretations of "sense" too. As I said it is a symptom of todays society that people think the world revolves around them and they can pick and choose what rules and laws they abide by. I bet if you made "rules" in your home or work you would expect eveyone to respect them. So if someone came into your house and you didnt want smoking in your house and they lit up because they felt your rules didnt make sense that would be ok? I bet not. Rules arent there for us to pick and choose which ones we follow otherwise why have them at all. Its just the usual double standards that so many live their lives by these days. Respect is not a word that many understand today (or responsibility either) which contributes to the mess we have in society today.[/p][/quote]I'm a law abiding kind of bloke. I dont swan around doing whatever I like at the expense of everyone else. But I also have a mind of my own and wil question things that clearly dont make any sense, and that are clearly a revenue generating excerise. . My parents took me out of school a few times to go on familiy holidays (fines didnt exist in those days). My parents are responsible well educated people with good jobs. I got good exams results at school. years later, I have a decent job. Society didnt fall apart becasue of this. Even Angrier Monkey
  • Score: 0

10:14am Thu 24 Jan 13

Even Angrier Monkey says...

batch wrote:
Oh no, a pupil has missed the last week of a school term, society is breaking down, anarchy is raining upon us. Thank the lord for a £50 fine to remedy the situation, which in no way is largely a simple money making exercise more than a deterrent. Oh.
brilliant
[quote][p][bold]batch[/bold] wrote: Oh no, a pupil has missed the last week of a school term, society is breaking down, anarchy is raining upon us. Thank the lord for a £50 fine to remedy the situation, which in no way is largely a simple money making exercise more than a deterrent. Oh.[/p][/quote]brilliant Even Angrier Monkey
  • Score: 0

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