The Isle of Wight Council ‘makes no apologies’ for fining parents who take their children out of school, following criticism they are reaching too quickly for sanctions.

A string of recent court cases has seen parents fined for unauthorised school absences, and figures published earlier this year showed one in seven parents on the Island had been fined — more than anywhere else in the country.

The council said it was committed to ensuring pupils attended school, in line with national policy.

In one case, a family was fined for taking their three children — two of whom had epilepsy — to Disneyland Paris on a trip paid for by a charity.

In another, a family whose children have learning difficulties was fined for being late too regularly.

An Isle of Wight Council spokesperson said:

“The council does all it can to ensure pupils attend school and makes no apologies for doing so…Parents are fined for the unauthorised absence of their child for a holiday at the discretion of the headteacher with guidance and support from the council. This is national policy.”

The spokesperson also said:

“The Isle of Wight Council cannot comment about specific cases, but always follow the clear national policy, and agree with the view that good attendance at school secures better outcomes and that applies to all children.”