Hartlepool parents and residents have reacted strongly to a petition which hopes to abolish the fines for taking children on holiday during school term time.
The petition which has been lodged with Parliament, has attracted more than 100,000 signatures, including hundreds from the North East. Currently parents face fines of £60 if they take their children on holiday during term time. Commenting on the story, the majority of readers were in favour of the petition.
Reader Kathleen Mathieson said: “Life experiences count for something and if it’s the only time a family can holiday together, these times are precious.
Shelly Harper agreed, she said: “As long as its not a regular thing I don’t think its a problem. Not all parents can have holidays at the same time as schools, and they shouldn’t have to miss out.”
Parent Kay Laverick was also strongly in favour of the petition. She said: “While a good education is important, a holiday can benefit in many more ways. I have two children with special needs and find it incredibly difficult to take my family on holiday during peak season, as they get anxious and scared when places are crowded and noisy. So for me being able to holiday during school holidays would be impossible.”
Others disagreed. One reader, ‘Barnstable’ said: “Sad state of affairs when people value greed above their own child’s education. No wonder we’re so low in the world literacy and numeracy tables.”
Tom Paris said: “How much of the taxpayers money is wasted when these kids don’t turn up for free school meals because they go on holiday in term time?”