Mum fined for taking daughter on term-time holiday – but parents of pupils on same trip weren’t

Wales Online is reporting that a mother-of-three has hit out after being fined £60 for taking her child on holiday during term-time when other parents of pupils on the same trip were not.

Heather Ward and her daughter Izabelle went skiing in Andorra with friends last week.

The 10-year-old missed five days of school and Ms Ward was slapped with a £60 fixed penalty notice on her return to Birchgrove Primary School, in Cardiff.

But Ms Ward’s friends, whose children attend a school less than a mile away, were not fined a penny – despite going on the same skiing trip.

Ms Ward said the fact one school was penalising parents and the other not was “wrong and unfair”, given the Welsh Government’s recent attempts to clarify the issue…

Heather Ward.. said..

“She has an aptitude for skiing and she’s on-track in school. When I got back I was fined £60 – but when two children from down the road went back to school, they were welcomed with open arms and asked about their trip.

“It’s not like I’m a persistent offender – my children have got a 98% attendance rate and they’ve never been late… it was educational and sporting – the sort of thing schools like…”

“It’s the inconsistency that is the most annoying. Each case should be taken on its individual merits…”

Education Minister Huw Lewis last month wrote to Welsh councils to make clear that head teachers had the power to let parents take their children on holiday – but for no longer than 10 days…

More at This mum was fined for taking her daughter on a term-time holiday – but parents of pupils on the SAME trip weren’t


Do you have sympathy with the mother here at least on the grounds of the apparent inconsistency of decision-making between nearby schools?

Please let us know why/why not in the comments or via Twitter…

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  1. Radio 4’s ‘More or Less’ programme thought Nick Gibb’s stats backing up his claim that one week’s holiday reduced the chances of getting ‘good’ GCSEs by 25% were a little stretched.  See here (second story)

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