Parents rack up £20,000 in fines

Hundreds of Derbyshire parents have racked up more than £20,000 in fines for taking their children out of school during term-time.

In three months the new zero tolerance approach to unauthorised absences has left many families counting the cost.

Since September, when the new legislation was enforced, Derbyshire County Council has collected £21,540 in penalty fines from 359 parents - including one couple who took their son out of school so he could attend their wedding.

Parents are fined £120 per parent, per child which is slashed to £60 per parent, per child, if paid within 21 days.

A spokesman for Derbyshire County Council, which collects the fines, said the money paid for the scheme to be administered and they do not make a profit.