Rugby mum’s outrage at school holiday fine

Pictured:  Amanda Fletcher and her son Cian.
Pictured: Amanda Fletcher and her son Cian.

A Brownsover mum has spoken out about what she claims are inconsistencies in Warwickshire County Council’s school holiday fining system.

Amanda Fletcher and her sister, Emma Fletcher, took their kids out of Avon Valley School for a week’s holiday in early July.

On their return, Amanda was issued with a fine of £120, or £60 if paid within 21 days, for both her son Cian (14) and daughter Nevaya (12) - but Emma was told she would not be fined for her son, Harvey (12).

And Amanda’s confusion at the situation grew even further after discovering that Cian’s attendance is slightly higher than his cousin Harvey’s. He averaged 96.5 per cent after the holiday, while Harvey’s attendance was lower at 95.5 per cent.

While she accepts that taking her children on holiday during term time could incur a fine, Amanda said: “If the decision is based on school attendance then why have I been fined but not my sister?

“If you put the two cases side by side, the only real difference seems to be this percentage gap in attendance - but that doesn’t make sense.

“I want to know what the council’s criteria was for making this decision. I can’t see the justification of it at all.”

A spokesperson for the county council said: “Decisions about the issuing of fixed penalty notices for non-attendance of pupils during term time are taken by Warwickshire County Council’s Attendance, Compliance and Enforcement (ACE) Service and not by individual schools.

“Decisions are taken on a case-by-case basis with a recognition that individual circumstances can differ from one pupil to the next.

“All decisions are made in line with Warwickshire County Council’s non-school attendance and penalty notices code of conduct and specifically article 2.13, which states: ‘Great care will be taken to ensure that notices are properly issued and only issued for offences where the local authority is willing and able to prosecute for the offence or irregular attendance.’

“It is the policy of the service not to comment on individual cases.”