Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay, Steve Double, has praised Cornwall Council for taking a more flexible approach on issuing fines to parents who take their children on holiday during school time.
Figures published from Freedom of Information requests show Cornwall Council have fined parents just 16 times since 2013. This is compared to 1,600 fines by Devon County Council and 988 by Torbay Council for the same period.
Commenting, Steve said:
“I am pleased to see Cornwall Council have been approaching this issue with flexibility and common sense. Education for our children is of the highest importance, but these attendance rules can be incredibly unfair on many families, so the flexibility shown by the authority is most welcomed.”
After being contacted by hundreds of parents, tourism businesses, organisations and charities, Steve led a Parliamentary debate in October on the Government’s changes to the rules that govern school attendance.
Mr Double added:
“Thousands of people in my constituency work in the tourism sector and they simply cannot take family holidays during the school holidays – it is their busiest time. Now they face being punished financially for enjoying a family holiday in quieter times of the year.
“Additionally, we all know the increased cost of taking a family holiday during the peak season, which impacts lower paid households. Holiday experiences, especially when we are young, often create deep and lasting memories some that shape our later lives. Travel broadens the mind and I do not want to deprive any child of that opportunity.
“I am continuing to raise this in Westminster and am determined to find a way forward suitable for all.”