Snow joke for Herefordshire family after they're fined for ski holiday taken in term time

Hereford Times: Jodi, Kisbee, Joolz and Andy Ing received fines after taking a holiday in term time. Jodi, Kisbee, Joolz and Andy Ing received fines after taking a holiday in term time.

A MUM claims she has been made to feel like a criminal after she took her children on holiday during term time and returned to a £240 penalty fine.

Jodi Ing is one of almost 100 parents to have been fined for choosing a vacation over education – and she now wants a change in the school holiday system.

Jodi and husband Andy took their children – Kisbee and Joolz – on a skiing holiday to France during the first week of term in January.

And Jodi claims that despite informing the children’s school – Much Birch CofE Primary School – last year that the holiday was planned, she received penalty notices totalling £240.

She said: “It does make you sound like a criminal and I don’t think it’s a criminal act. I wouldn’t mind so much if the kids were struggling but they work really hard when they are at school.”

She said it seemed inappropriate to fine “conscientious” parents who take their children’s education seriously but who also see the value of raising “well-rounded, confident and happy children – on a budget”.

But the Ings are not the only family to be penalised for unauthorised absences.

Ninety-seven fines were issued by Herefordshire Council between September and December 2013 – 75 per cent up on the same period in 2012.

Tougher government rules introduced in September might well have contributed to the clamp down.

But Jodi has a novel idea to resolve the problem and is suggesting that schools shorten their summer holiday by one week to allow everybody one week to take in term time.

“I understand that the children have school holidays and in an ideal world family holidays could be taken then, but it is also known that the prices become expensive then.”

Fines vary between £60 and £120, depending on the speed of payment – wiping out savings parents made on any holiday.

Herefordshire Council can issue penalty notices if a school asks them to do so.

Much Birch Primary had not responded to the Hereford Times at the time of going to press.

Comments (22)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:48am Fri 14 Feb 14

Herefordian07 says...

Yet more proof that dictatorial edicts from government have stripped the general public of many of their rights, Families should not be controlled by teachers, the council nor government we are heading into George Orwells 1984 scenario at break neck speed, will somebody stop this madness of state control. No public toilets, no smoking in cars with children in, what about the smoking in the home are they going to ban that too, yet another lunatic law that hasn't been thought through, just for the record I do not smoke but I believe it to be unjust for all this intervention on ordinary law abiding citizens going about their normal lives.
Yet more proof that dictatorial edicts from government have stripped the general public of many of their rights, Families should not be controlled by teachers, the council nor government we are heading into George Orwells 1984 scenario at break neck speed, will somebody stop this madness of state control. No public toilets, no smoking in cars with children in, what about the smoking in the home are they going to ban that too, yet another lunatic law that hasn't been thought through, just for the record I do not smoke but I believe it to be unjust for all this intervention on ordinary law abiding citizens going about their normal lives. Herefordian07
  • Score: -15

11:14am Fri 14 Feb 14

oldergit says...

Should stick to the rules. No sympathy.
Should stick to the rules. No sympathy. oldergit
  • Score: -6

1:01pm Fri 14 Feb 14

WyeOhWye says...

This rule is absolutely ridiculous and a classic example of the state telling its citizens how these rules shall apply when quite obvioulsy the people don't even want this law in place unless guidelines are in place to protect responsible hard working families and their right to take a family holiday with their children when they are best able and ensuring no essential school time is lost or at the very least can be made up. I was refused time off for my daughter for 2 days when subsequently on the first day they played games all day and the second did an hour in church and were sent home at lunchtime. The parent governor took her child out of school to attend a wedding in Spain and was she fined? You bet your backside she wasn't and this my friends was corruption at Primary school Governorship level... I For one would be very happy to participate in a campaign local or otherwise to have these regulations amended to ensure that ONLY serial offending parents with an obvious trend of neglectful behaviour toward their childs education are punished as they should be.
This rule is absolutely ridiculous and a classic example of the state telling its citizens how these rules shall apply when quite obvioulsy the people don't even want this law in place unless guidelines are in place to protect responsible hard working families and their right to take a family holiday with their children when they are best able and ensuring no essential school time is lost or at the very least can be made up. I was refused time off for my daughter for 2 days when subsequently on the first day they played games all day and the second did an hour in church and were sent home at lunchtime. The parent governor took her child out of school to attend a wedding in Spain and was she fined? You bet your backside she wasn't and this my friends was corruption at Primary school Governorship level... I For one would be very happy to participate in a campaign local or otherwise to have these regulations amended to ensure that ONLY serial offending parents with an obvious trend of neglectful behaviour toward their childs education are punished as they should be. WyeOhWye
  • Score: 20

1:18pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Clarkester says...

In all honesty a £240 fine still means they spent a lot, lot less than they would have done had they gone in holiday time.
Good business by them.
The real problem here is the way holiday companies charge double during school holidays. And why? Because there is more demand?!?!?
If there is more demand, surely the thieving swines could stand to drop their prices a little and get even more people to cough up and go on holiday?!
Surely it's simple... Is it just me?!?
In all honesty a £240 fine still means they spent a lot, lot less than they would have done had they gone in holiday time. Good business by them. The real problem here is the way holiday companies charge double during school holidays. And why? Because there is more demand?!?!? If there is more demand, surely the thieving swines could stand to drop their prices a little and get even more people to cough up and go on holiday?! Surely it's simple... Is it just me?!? Clarkester
  • Score: 18

2:06pm Fri 14 Feb 14

mizza21 says...

What very poor reasoning abilities displayed on these here pages.
Right.
Clarkester. So.. It's Good Busness for them to go on Holiday during term time, but not good business for the Travel Companies to charge more when demand is high.
Why Not !! We live in a fre market and that is what they are entitled to do. Or would you have business tied up in red tape, prevented from trading fairly at certain times of the year.

Herefordian07 -- Smoking is antisocial. It is a bad example to Children, it causes cancer and ALL, yes ALL smokers are slaves to it and want to quit.
Authorities trad a fine line between public health and freedom here and we are slowly heading towards a state where smoking, like drink-driving and heroin is socially unnaceptable.
You have shown my analysis to be correct by having to mention that you do not smoke. Why mention it. This proves my point.

Children taken out of school in term time?? Well, it's up to the parents. Serial offenders should be challenged but fines are a mad idea.
If you are wealthy you can afford the fine. One rule for the rich etc etc..
I say flog the parents publicly. Pain is a great deterrent.
What very poor reasoning abilities displayed on these here pages. Right. Clarkester. So.. It's Good Busness for them to go on Holiday during term time, but not good business for the Travel Companies to charge more when demand is high. Why Not !! We live in a fre market and that is what they are entitled to do. Or would you have business tied up in red tape, prevented from trading fairly at certain times of the year. Herefordian07 -- Smoking is antisocial. It is a bad example to Children, it causes cancer and ALL, yes ALL smokers are slaves to it and want to quit. Authorities trad a fine line between public health and freedom here and we are slowly heading towards a state where smoking, like drink-driving and heroin is socially unnaceptable. You have shown my analysis to be correct by having to mention that you do not smoke. Why mention it. This proves my point. Children taken out of school in term time?? Well, it's up to the parents. Serial offenders should be challenged but fines are a mad idea. If you are wealthy you can afford the fine. One rule for the rich etc etc.. I say flog the parents publicly. Pain is a great deterrent. mizza21
  • Score: -11

3:43pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Herefordian07 says...

Mizza21 thank you for your comment, I have re-read my comment and you may have misinterpreted my meaning or I have typed it in badly, my point is that the authorities will ban smoking in cars which will save the passengers some smoke, however, when they get home they will be subjected to endless passive smoke because there is no provision for a ban in the house etc, so the law is badly drawn up and flawed, the reason I mentioned not smoking is because I didn't want to give the impression that I was ranting because the change in law would affect me, you are quite right by saying it is antisocial and I agree that smokers should not inflict their habit on others, I always enjoy your posts, best regards.
Mizza21 thank you for your comment, I have re-read my comment and you may have misinterpreted my meaning or I have typed it in badly, my point is that the authorities will ban smoking in cars which will save the passengers some smoke, however, when they get home they will be subjected to endless passive smoke because there is no provision for a ban in the house etc, so the law is badly drawn up and flawed, the reason I mentioned not smoking is because I didn't want to give the impression that I was ranting because the change in law would affect me, you are quite right by saying it is antisocial and I agree that smokers should not inflict their habit on others, I always enjoy your posts, best regards. Herefordian07
  • Score: -5

3:48pm Fri 14 Feb 14

suttondad says...

Why aren't we seeing more done on the holiday companies that insist on ripping off the public all because of term time breaks, they know they can get away with it whilst this fine system remains in place, its antequated and immoral yet still not illegal to charge almost double because of the time of year, well done madam for taking the kids out, granted they missed out on some school time, but what alternative should she take, spend another £1000 to go two weeks later, not to forget that dependant on her employers she or her husband might be contractually obliged not to have holidays at certain times of years, whichever way, someone has got us parents over a barrel, its time that the goal posts shifted slightly.
Why aren't we seeing more done on the holiday companies that insist on ripping off the public all because of term time breaks, they know they can get away with it whilst this fine system remains in place, its antequated and immoral yet still not illegal to charge almost double because of the time of year, well done madam for taking the kids out, granted they missed out on some school time, but what alternative should she take, spend another £1000 to go two weeks later, not to forget that dependant on her employers she or her husband might be contractually obliged not to have holidays at certain times of years, whichever way, someone has got us parents over a barrel, its time that the goal posts shifted slightly. suttondad
  • Score: 11

4:01pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Herefordian07 says...

Just a thought, Head teachers don't mind interrupting pupils education and the disruption to parents when they go on strike, so why can't we fine them for loss of education and loss of salary or child minder expenses, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander too! I guess I will get loads of thumbs down for this again.
Just a thought, Head teachers don't mind interrupting pupils education and the disruption to parents when they go on strike, so why can't we fine them for loss of education and loss of salary or child minder expenses, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander too! I guess I will get loads of thumbs down for this again. Herefordian07
  • Score: 24

4:08pm Fri 14 Feb 14

suttondad says...

Herefordian07, you'll have it deleted for common sense value!!

We always knew that the education system is one of the most dated in the world, our kids are taught nonsense, where is the educational benefit from my stepson reading horrid henry books at the age of 6, and seriously, can anyone answer what guided comprehension actually entails? If that is what the education standards are then, Alpe d'huetz here I come.

Talking of strikes, I do believe there are more coming up in the not too distant future, might see about my standing to claim costs back.
Herefordian07, you'll have it deleted for common sense value!! We always knew that the education system is one of the most dated in the world, our kids are taught nonsense, where is the educational benefit from my stepson reading horrid henry books at the age of 6, and seriously, can anyone answer what guided comprehension actually entails? If that is what the education standards are then, Alpe d'huetz here I come. Talking of strikes, I do believe there are more coming up in the not too distant future, might see about my standing to claim costs back. suttondad
  • Score: 0

5:49pm Fri 14 Feb 14

xXcrazychickXx says...

i really think one family holiday in a term time shouldn't cause so much grief, maybe they should allow just one anytime holiday per yr if required then issue fines if anymore are taken, one week out of a year is nothing, i could understand being fined if it was frequent
i really think one family holiday in a term time shouldn't cause so much grief, maybe they should allow just one anytime holiday per yr if required then issue fines if anymore are taken, one week out of a year is nothing, i could understand being fined if it was frequent xXcrazychickXx
  • Score: 7

7:42pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Tinalin says...

How embarrasing. They know the rules. . . . they got the fine. . . and now they are making thier mistake public
How embarrasing. They know the rules. . . . they got the fine. . . and now they are making thier mistake public Tinalin
  • Score: -7

9:18pm Fri 14 Feb 14

awm2002 says...

Surely a holiday during term time isn't that bad, a week abroad could be classed as educational, different cultures, languages, currency etc is all things that enhance a child's learning or have I mistaken what travelling to foreign countries is all about? Also family bonding during the holiday is a useful part of it too. So many parents spend long hours working that time to relax together in a different environment can do wonders and actually help children when returning to school. Maybe schools could use a family holiday as a way of educating the other children left behind with the child who comes back to school having a talk and show lesson about where they have been and what they did. While there. Just a thought?!
Surely a holiday during term time isn't that bad, a week abroad could be classed as educational, different cultures, languages, currency etc is all things that enhance a child's learning or have I mistaken what travelling to foreign countries is all about? Also family bonding during the holiday is a useful part of it too. So many parents spend long hours working that time to relax together in a different environment can do wonders and actually help children when returning to school. Maybe schools could use a family holiday as a way of educating the other children left behind with the child who comes back to school having a talk and show lesson about where they have been and what they did. While there. Just a thought?! awm2002
  • Score: 17

8:10am Sat 15 Feb 14

Chaltis says...

These are tough times financially and I can understand people wanting to save a bit of money or avoid paying too much. But it's not very sensible to complain about being fined for taking a child out of school for a holiday during term - the consequences are well-publicized and understood by every parent.

However, the increased prices charged by travel firms for holidays bought during the school holidays are a bit harder to justify. Normally when there's a commodity or service in great demand the prices are reduced not increased. Maybe time for someone to take a look at profit margins in term and holiday periods.
These are tough times financially and I can understand people wanting to save a bit of money or avoid paying too much. But it's not very sensible to complain about being fined for taking a child out of school for a holiday during term - the consequences are well-publicized and understood by every parent. However, the increased prices charged by travel firms for holidays bought during the school holidays are a bit harder to justify. Normally when there's a commodity or service in great demand the prices are reduced not increased. Maybe time for someone to take a look at profit margins in term and holiday periods. Chaltis
  • Score: 4

9:23am Sat 15 Feb 14

dodger3 says...

Never took my kids on holiday in term time.There has to be a demarcation line, if not, the floodgates will open.
Never took my kids on holiday in term time.There has to be a demarcation line, if not, the floodgates will open. dodger3
  • Score: 6

11:07am Sat 15 Feb 14

silentbull2 says...

Interestingly I've done a quick search on 'ski holidays' and found that if you booked a 'ski holiday' for four (two adults two children) i found that if you booked the holiday in December you're looking at 'after you've booked/hired everything' you're looking at about £1000 but
The same holiday in January will cost about £1500 for a week
'Now' i personally find it wrong to take children out of education just to go on holiday but sometimes parents haven't a choice, also I agree with a previous post saying that when teachers go on strike 'they too' should get a fine of equal value.
I would also like to see the six week summer holiday reduced to 'at most' two weeks with the rest of the summer holidays spread out across the year with 'again' no more than a two week holiday period.
It will mean shorter terms which will raise concentration and also should raise exam results and 'hopefully' at the same time give parents a lot more chance to take there children on holidays without paying extortionate prices
But maybe it's too simple and sensible for the people in charge.
Interestingly I've done a quick search on 'ski holidays' and found that if you booked a 'ski holiday' for four (two adults two children) i found that if you booked the holiday in December you're looking at 'after you've booked/hired everything' you're looking at about £1000 but The same holiday in January will cost about £1500 for a week 'Now' i personally find it wrong to take children out of education just to go on holiday but sometimes parents haven't a choice, also I agree with a previous post saying that when teachers go on strike 'they too' should get a fine of equal value. I would also like to see the six week summer holiday reduced to 'at most' two weeks with the rest of the summer holidays spread out across the year with 'again' no more than a two week holiday period. It will mean shorter terms which will raise concentration and also should raise exam results and 'hopefully' at the same time give parents a lot more chance to take there children on holidays without paying extortionate prices But maybe it's too simple and sensible for the people in charge. silentbull2
  • Score: 6

11:23am Sat 15 Feb 14

ad47uk says...

i can understand why they took thier children out at term time as the price of holidays is horrendous in school holiday times. something needs to be done about the ripping people off which holiday companies seem to do. Education is important and taking children out of school is not a good idea.

Also, Hereford Times, what is this vacation thin you got plastered over the front pager? We are getting too Americanised as it is, we British do not go on vacation, we go on holidays.
i can understand why they took thier children out at term time as the price of holidays is horrendous in school holiday times. something needs to be done about the ripping people off which holiday companies seem to do. Education is important and taking children out of school is not a good idea. Also, Hereford Times, what is this vacation thin you got plastered over the front pager? We are getting too Americanised as it is, we British do not go on vacation, we go on holidays. ad47uk
  • Score: 6

6:43pm Sat 15 Feb 14

WYSIATI says...

It was much simpler when I was at school - you had to send the kids to school so you did. You took holidays that you could afford. Can't remember my parents wasting any time arguing that the price of the holiday justified damage to the education of their children.

There are exceptions - the close family funeral, the child with grandparents overseas maybe - but in the main we all pay for children's education and the deal is you turn up. It's not pick and mix and it's not for the school to adapt to the whims of parents. There's no god-given right to ski holidays. Used to be if you couldn't afford it you didn't do it simples.
It was much simpler when I was at school - you had to send the kids to school so you did. You took holidays that you could afford. Can't remember my parents wasting any time arguing that the price of the holiday justified damage to the education of their children. There are exceptions - the close family funeral, the child with grandparents overseas maybe - but in the main we all pay for children's education and the deal is you turn up. It's not pick and mix and it's not for the school to adapt to the whims of parents. There's no god-given right to ski holidays. Used to be if you couldn't afford it you didn't do it simples. WYSIATI
  • Score: 13

7:09pm Sun 16 Feb 14

Hillman Avenger says...

They should be fined for the names they have given their kids!
They should be fined for the names they have given their kids! Hillman Avenger
  • Score: 26

11:01pm Sun 16 Feb 14

richardsharpe15535855 says...

Why should holiday companies be forced to charge less? They are businesses, not charities. If you can't afford a fancy holiday in some far away country then tough, stay at home, you are not entitled to something just because you want it. If you want cheaper holidays that aren't bound to school timetables then don't have kids
Why should holiday companies be forced to charge less? They are businesses, not charities. If you can't afford a fancy holiday in some far away country then tough, stay at home, you are not entitled to something just because you want it. If you want cheaper holidays that aren't bound to school timetables then don't have kids richardsharpe15535855
  • Score: 2

7:06pm Tue 18 Feb 14

wyesider says...

I wonder if parents have been made fully aware of the new rules governing taking children on holiday during school term?
My grandchildren received a letter to take home that explained the new rules. I can remember taking my children away during school term many years ago and I had to fill in a form to get permission from the Headmaster.
The following is taken from a government website:
"Recent rule changes by the Department for Education have made it harder for parents to get a school's permission to take their children out of class during term time, and so to avoid higher prices in peak seasons.
Since September 2013, head teachers in England have no longer had the discretion to approve absences of up to 10 days a year for family holidays in "special circumstances". The new rules introduced tougher criteria of "exceptional circumstances", restricting it to absences for events such as funerals of family members.
Parents and carers are legally responsible for ensuring their children attend school (other than home schooling). Failure to do so is an offence under section 444 of the Education Act 1996. Parents have no legal right to take their children out of school during term time for holidays.
Parents who do not have the school's permission for their child's absence face a maximum fine of £60 per pupil, per parent. That rises to £120 if not paid within seven days. Those who refuse to pay can face court action and, if prosecuted, a fine of up to £2,500 and a possible jail sentence of up to three months."
Hopefully, all parents should be made aware of this?
I wonder if parents have been made fully aware of the new rules governing taking children on holiday during school term? My grandchildren received a letter to take home that explained the new rules. I can remember taking my children away during school term many years ago and I had to fill in a form to get permission from the Headmaster. The following is taken from a government website: "Recent rule changes by the Department for Education have made it harder for parents to get a school's permission to take their children out of class during term time, and so to avoid higher prices in peak seasons. Since September 2013, head teachers in England have no longer had the discretion to approve absences of up to 10 days a year for family holidays in "special circumstances". The new rules introduced tougher criteria of "exceptional circumstances", restricting it to absences for events such as funerals of family members. Parents and carers are legally responsible for ensuring their children attend school (other than home schooling). Failure to do so is an offence under section 444 of the Education Act 1996. Parents have no legal right to take their children out of school during term time for holidays. Parents who do not have the school's permission for their child's absence face a maximum fine of £60 per pupil, per parent. That rises to £120 if not paid within seven days. Those who refuse to pay can face court action and, if prosecuted, a fine of up to £2,500 and a possible jail sentence of up to three months." Hopefully, all parents should be made aware of this? wyesider
  • Score: 4

9:26pm Tue 18 Feb 14

poany1 says...

I am incensed by this, how ridiculous to fine parents. I believe it is the same fine for repeated truancy....I wonder how often this is implemented. Totally agree that the same should apply to teachers when they go on strike. I am paying for a holiday for my grandson and he will be taken out of school for a week in May. Children don't do much in the last week of term and I am sure he will benefit from the cultural experience.
I am incensed by this, how ridiculous to fine parents. I believe it is the same fine for repeated truancy....I wonder how often this is implemented. Totally agree that the same should apply to teachers when they go on strike. I am paying for a holiday for my grandson and he will be taken out of school for a week in May. Children don't do much in the last week of term and I am sure he will benefit from the cultural experience. poany1
  • Score: 1

3:47pm Wed 19 Feb 14

littlewhitebull says...

A quick look on the internet shows that these new rules are being enforced stringently by quite a few authorities even at a quick glance!
A Telford couple refused to pay their fine of £360 for taking children on holiday in term time and it was doubled! Then they had to appear in court and the fine was amended to £600 + £300 court costs + £63 surcharge.
North Yorkshire have issued 35 fine notices, Darlington 95, Devon and Cornwall 400+, and East Lincolnshire 359. Whether they are all for 'taking holidays' and whether they have been paid I have not been able to find out. But it does show that the Herefordshire case is not an isolated example.
A quick look on the internet shows that these new rules are being enforced stringently by quite a few authorities even at a quick glance! A Telford couple refused to pay their fine of £360 for taking children on holiday in term time and it was doubled! Then they had to appear in court and the fine was amended to £600 + £300 court costs + £63 surcharge. North Yorkshire have issued 35 fine notices, Darlington 95, Devon and Cornwall 400+, and East Lincolnshire 359. Whether they are all for 'taking holidays' and whether they have been paid I have not been able to find out. But it does show that the Herefordshire case is not an isolated example. littlewhitebull
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree