THE number of parents in Wiltshire who were fined during the last academic year for taking their children out of school during term time has reached 960.

It is a six per cent rise on the previous year according to figures that were released following a freedom of information request.

Parents can now be fined £120 per child for going on holiday during term time, which is reduced to £60 if |paid within the first 21 |days.

This follows a tightening on the rules by the Department of Education which previously allowed parents to take children out of school for up to ten days a year at the headteacher’s discretion.

It now means that parents can only take children out of school in exceptional circumstances.

Service personnel are permitted to take children out of school during term-time, but only if they are unable to take leave during the |holidays.

Cllr Richard Gamble, portfolio holder for schools, skills and youth, said Wiltshire Council was just acting upon directives from national government when it fined parents.

A national campaign to reverse the policy has now reached over 200,000 signatures.