The number of parents fined for their children's poor attendance at school has increased by 93% to almost 223,000 in 2017-18.
The Department for Education (DfE) confirmed that “unauthorised family holiday absence” was the most common reason for these attendance-related fines.
Councils can require parents to pay £60 each per child taken out of school without permission. This rises to £120 if not paid within 21 days, and after 28 days parents can be prosecuted.
The rise in fines comes after father Jon Platt lost a case at the Supreme Court in April 2017.
Mr Platt initially won a high-profile High Court case in May 2016 over taking his daughter out of school for a holiday to Disney World, Florida, without permission. Thousands of parents are thought to have booked cheaper holidays during term time following Mr Platt’s earlier victories.
Many parents go away with their children in term time to avoid the huge price hikes imposed by holiday firms during school holidays.
In the past, families were often allowed to take up to two weeks as an authorised holiday in term time, provided their children had a good attendance record. Yet since September 2013 headteachers have been told they can only authorise term-time absences in “exceptional” circumstances such as funerals.
The latest increase in the number of fines issued appears to be due to councils getting clarity from the Supreme Court judgment.
The DfE said it contacted six local authorities with large increases in penalties issued to explain the change.
“All six that responded cited that the supreme court judgment in this case had an effect on the number of penalty notices issued in 2017-18, either as a result of returning to pre-court case levels following a slowdown or from a change in behaviour as a result of the ruling,” the DfE reported.