Since 2002 when it became illegal for parents to take their children on holiday during school term time the government estimate some 46% of British parents have broken that law. In theory parents risk being fined up to £2500 for committing the offence but the government admit only 7% of parents have so far ever actually been fined. In most cases it seems schools prefer to turn a blind eye to it.
Things are about to change. Starting this summer special 'Truancy Officers' will be at our airports looking for children who are trying to leave Britain illegally during school term time, and parents hoping to get round it by taking their holidays in Britain will not escape the crackdown.
Hundreds of additional enforcement officers will also be visiting coastal resorts checking the documentation of young looking people they see and suspect of being on holiday illegally.
The Enforcement officers will be making frequent visits to places like leisure centers, holiday camps, and caravan and camping sites. In addition there will be spot-checks along the motorways and other roads leading to coastal resorts.
The officers will be ordering the drivers of vehicles containing children to pull over so that checks can be made to confirm that the paperwork is in order and shows that the children are not away from school illegally.
Any child found to be on holiday illegally will be impounded.Parents will only be handed back their child when there is documentation to show that the full £2500 fine has been paid to the authorities.