26/08/2010 06:32 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Middle Class Parents Flout Term Time Holiday Rules

A Government report claims that 1.4million school days were missed during the spring term as parents took their children on cut price holidays.

Figures released by the Department for Education show a sharp increase in absenteeism in the early summer as parents avoid the escalated costs of package breaks during school holidays.

Despite penalty fines being dished out to offending parents, the trend - dubbed 'Middle-class truancy' - is showing no sign of abating, as the fines are still outweighed by the savings made by opting for off-peak travel.

Research by Santander Cards found that tour operators and holiday centres add hundreds of pounds to the cost of a family holiday once the schools break up - one example cited a week long stay in Portugal which was inflated by 86 per cent in August compared to its price during term time.

Schools minister Nick Gibb condemned unauthorised absence, saying: 'The level of absenteeism in schools is still too high. We are putting in place a series of measure to raise standards of behaviour, to put head teachers and teachers back in control of the classroom, and to get tougher on parents and pupils who do not abide by the rules.'

What do you think?
Do you take your children out of school during term time to avoid holiday company price hikes? Or should parents who do so face stiffer penalties than the current £50 or £100 fines?