Lancashire County Council have been forced to step back from imposing £1000 fines on parents who take their children on holiday during term time. The Conservative Administration were considering such a move, but when challenged on the legality of its proposals they are now claiming it was some form of misunderstanding.
This is despite the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Charles stating “We are considering any possible action that could be taken in the future to reduce unauthorised absences. This is at an early stage.” The Sunday Times reported.
The council’s latest press release is now attempting to clarify the confusion they have caused but without any form of solution to the problems. Dismissing the press reports, which they fully participated in as if it never happened.
Such action by the authority would only affect Lancashire Education Schools. It would not affect private or academy schools.
Cllr Lorraine Beavers, Labour Deputy Children’s Services, “This is just another example of the chaos being created by this Conservative Administration. This is scare mongering of the worst kind and once again would put the council in an illegal position.”
“What we need to be doing is working with the schools and parents. Not political posturing that may only damage the partnership required in order to establish a way forward that is in the best interest of the children’s education.”
“We have hard pressed families across Lancashire trying to do their best for their children. Faced with holiday prices trebling as soon as the schools break up. All parents want their children to have a good education. What would be helpful is a parliament select committee to consider the very high costs of holidays during school breaks. As many families who would want to take their families away can’t afford it.”
“Today I’ve spoken to Officers who have assured me that this was only an option. We anticipate that the Conservative proposals will not go ahead. Giving the opportunity for open up an honest debate on unauthorised school absences, which we would be happy to participate in. The future of the children is the most important issue, not a misguided political fix.”