2015-2016 figures from the UK Department of Education show that almost four million collective days are lost every year when parents take their children away during term-time for unauthorized holidays.
Even though there is a £60 fine per child, these holiday costs are incurred more than official school holidays.
According to Daily Mirror, these figures showed an increase of half a million days of unauthorized breaks.
To be precise, 3.65 million days are lost as parents take their children away from their educational institutes during term-time.
The Department of Education in the United Kingdom has stated that an average student misses out around nine school days per year.
This may be because of the fall in authorized holidays from 4.1 million days to just under one million. Another reason may be that instructors actually authorize some holidays due to religious events and festivals.
These breaks rose up from just 350,000 to over one million holidays. In just 2016 alone, the £60 fine per child per holiday resulted in over 150,000 fines, totaling up to £9 million.
Parents take this up easily because during the six-week summer break, the holidays cost about 60% more as travel costs are increased due to high demand.
In June 2016, a parent, Jon Platt, won a case when he sued the school for issuing him a £120 fine for taking his daughter to see Disney World on an unauthorized holiday.
He said, “You’re the child’s parents. You should be able to make that decision without the state coming along and saying you’re wrong about that.”
Judges ruled that the fine should not be levied as Jon Platt’s daughter had been attending school regularly before this one-off event.
He later lost the case in the Supreme Court when the decision of the High Court was appealed.
Another parent, Dean Dixon, took to the public when his children were not given authorization for his wedding in Greece. He said, “What was I supposed to do, take two and leave the other behind?”
Prime Minister Theresa May made a statement that pupils should only be taken out of school for unauthorized holidays for “exceptional circumstances”.
Parents still choose to continue the ‘unauthorized holiday’ tradition as travel costs for holidays have significantly increased.
A petition has been signed by more than 200,000 people, asking the government to put a limit on the travel operators’ prices.
The Education Department had said, “Every day missed can affect a pupil’s chances of achieving good GCSEs and impacts teachers. That is why we’ve put teachers firmly back in charge.”
Chris McGovern from the Campaign for Real Education has, “Education is a passport to the future and more valuable than a passport to Majorca.”
[The images used in this article are for representative purposes only.]