Hefty fines and costs issued to those taking children on unauthorised term time holidays

Barnsley Magistrates Court has ordered a number of parents to pay out thousands of pounds in fines, costs, and surcharges for taking their children out of school for unauthorised holidays during term time.

Eight parents were convicted of failing to ensure their children regularly attended school, at a hearing which took place on Thursday, 28 March 2019.

Defendants were issued heavy fines, along with costs and surcharges. Across these eight cases, parents were collectively ordered to pay more than £5,700.

Rachel Dickinson, Executive Director for People, said: “Barnsley Council and the Magistrates Court take unauthorised absence from school seriously; all the parents fined took the holiday despite the schools not authorising the absence.

“They also did not pay the initial penalty fine imposed of £60 per child, or the increased amount of £120 per child.

“This resulted in the parents being prosecuted for the unauthorised absence.

“We want to improve attendance levels across the borough to enable children and young people to have the best chance to fulfil their potential.

“Once a child starts school, parents and carers are responsible for making sure that they attend regularly and are not taken out of school unnecessarily.”

For legal reasons, the parents cannot be identified but charges were as follows:

Case one: defendant did not attend court and the matter was proved in their absence. Fined £440, costs £120, victim surcharge £44, totalling £604.

Case two: defendant did not attend court and the matter was proved in their absence.  Fined £440 x 2 children, costs £120, victim surcharge £88, totalling £1,088.

Case three: defendant did not attend court and the matter was proved in their absence. Fined £440 x 2 children, costs £120, victim surcharge £88, totalling £1,088.

Case four: defendant attended court but then left so the matter was proved in their absence. Fined £440, costs £120, victim surcharge £44, totalling £604.

Case five: defendant attended court and pleaded guilty.  The court gave credit for their guilty plea and noted their personal circumstances. Fined £80, costs £120, victim surcharge £30, totalling £230.

Case six: defendant did not attend court and the matter was proved in their absence. Fined £440, costs £120, victim surcharge £44, totalling £604.  

Case seven: defendant had pleaded guilty by post. The court gave credit for their guilty plea. Fined £295, costs £120 and victim surcharge £30, totalling £445.

Case eight: defendant did not attend court and the matter was proved in their absence. Fined £440 x 2 children, to pay Costs £120, and victims surcharge £88, totalling £1088.

This news is linked to Town Spirit, our new way of working better together. We believe, that if everyone in Barnsley does just one thing, we can make our borough a more welcoming place to live, work, invest and visit.

We'll do everything we can to help people and their family to achieve their potential by raising aspirations and creating a healthier, safer and better-educated population.

#AchieveIt and #OwnIt. Help us to raise aspirations, confidence and develop enterprising behaviour by:

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