UK NRI couple charged for taking kids out during school term

l2lxmte1Shahnawaz and Sofiya Patel were taken to court for taking their two children out of school during the term.

The parents had requested an authorised absence from their primary school in Preston, North England for their sons Omar, 11, and Eiad, 8, to make a trip last December to visit their ailing grandfather in India, but the school refused permission.

According to regulations instituted in 2013, local council authorities have to fine families who take children out of school for unauthorised absences, to put a halt to parents saving money by booking holidays during school term. Government guidelines say children can only be taken out of school during term time if circumstances are ‘exceptional’.

The Patels were told their circumstances were not exceptional and fined 480 pounds. Mr Patel was told by the Council that the period had expired and he would have to attend a hearing or submit a guilty plea in writing.

Patel, who is a paralegal, now intends to fight the case.

A councillor in Lancashire said their aim is not to punish parents, but to ensure that children attend school and receive a good education.