POLL: Parents could face fines for taking children on holiday during term time
Parent across Cornwall are concerned at government changes to school holiday policy which mean they could face fines for taking children away during term time.
Schools across England have been advised not authorise term time absences for family holidays.
A statement produced by the government in September said: "Head teachers have the discretion to grant leave, but they should only do so in exceptional circumstances.
"If a head teacher grants a leave request it will be for them to determine the length of time that the child can be away from school. This leave is unlikely, however, to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday.
Buy one get one free on main course and specials excludes fillet steaks and beef wellingtons
Must book to qualify and present voucher on arrival 01209860332
Contact: 01209 700617
Valid until: Wednesday, December 11 2013
"Parents can be fined for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school."
These measures have sparked intense debates, and local parents have said that the government is ignoring the inflated cost of going away during school holidays and the benefits children gain from visiting other cultures and spending time with their families.
Gemma Hulme, who has two children at Mount Hawke Academy, said: "I know it's not the school's fault. I love the school, both my kids are very happy there.
"But I think that it is shocking that the government has introduced this holiday policy. We live in an area which relies on seasonal jobs, and as such it is difficult for me or my husband to take time off during the summer holidays."
The new holiday policy at Mount Hawke Academy means that parents will have to meet with the head teacher if they wish to arrange time off and permission will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.
Andrew Earnshaw, principal for Mount Hawke Academy, said: "I understand how hard it is for families, reliant on the tourist industry, to find time in peak holiday season to go away. Time spent with family is a valuable and important part of growing up.
"However, the changes that have come about have come from the government and apply to all schools. I can equally understand the reasons behind this move, as children's time in education is precious and it is vital that good attendance at school is maintained to ensure academic progress.
"We cannot teach children if they are not here and 2 weeks away from their friends is a long time socially for children.
"We are all having to adjust to this new situation and I'm sure that common sense will prevail. A good dialogue between school and home will ensure that we make this adjustment smoothly and in the best interest of the children and community we serve."