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Almost three quarters of teachers do not think parents should be fined for taking their children out of school during term time for a family holiday, an exclusive Daybreak poll can reveal.
The OnePoll survey found 71% of teachers disagreed with parent being forced to fork out £60 per child for an unauthorised absence.
A further 66% of teachers told the survey they did not think taking primary school children out of the classroom for a family holiday had a detrimental effect on their learning.
The poll comes as MPs debated measures for lowering the extra cost of a family getaway and the education secretary called for the suspension of air duty during school holidays.
A seven-year-old girl with a brain tumour has had her request to go on holiday during term-time refused by her school, a senior Labour MP has claimed.
Natascha Engel said the girl's father, who is separated from the girl's mother and lives 120 miles away, put in a request to the school but it was turned down because of new Government policy in what she described as a "distressing, individual case".
Ms Engel said: "The school has cited government legislation to say there will be no unauthorised absences.
"It sounds quite threatening, but the school has no option, this is what the rules are."
Under recent amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 Act, which came into force on 1st September 2013, headteachers may not grant any leave of absence for holidays during the term-time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Families could see a drop in the price of holidays as schools are given more control on setting half-term dates, the consumer affairs minister says.
Jenny Willott insisted the coalition has no plans to regulate as it is not convinced higher prices during school holidays are caused by "market abuse" by the holiday industry, but instead reflect the demand in an international competitive sector.
But Ms Willott said proposals to enable schools greater choice on when to set holidays by next year could result in different break times for pupils across the country, which would extend the peak holiday period and could help bring prices down.
We asked you if the decision of when to holiday should be left to parents, or if councils are right to enforce the rules after it was revealed that thousands of fines have been issued to parents who have taken their children on unauthorised holidays.
- Lynne Hallworth: I'm British but now live in Canada. We can take our kids on vacation at any time. The teachers consider travel an education, new countries, new languages and cultures. Now my kids are older, they decided they don't want to miss school - they have made that choice, not a government.
- Clair Hanson: People seem to forget that a holiday is a luxury item, not a necessity and that travel companies are business, not charities. If they can charge more during school holidays and still sell all the places then why shouldn't they?
- Jason Marshall: When I was at school, never a week went by without someone being on holiday, it was the norm in the seventies and eighties.
- Kaz Langley: Can parents fine teachers and NUT for teacher training days in term time?
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