A mum has slammed a primary school for denying her permission to take her daughter on a “once in a lifetime” holiday to Florida during term time.
Kirsty Smart, 37, was refused permission when she asked to take her daughter Lilly-Mae, 10, to Florida – and could now face a £120 fine.
Lilly-Mae's grandparents had offered to take Kirsty, the kids' father, and all three children to Florida on a luxury two-week family break.
But the 10-year-old’s primary school "said no" when Kirsty explained her dad is a carpet-fitter and can’t get time off during the holidays.
She said her kids have "never had a holiday" before and this would be a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them."
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Birches Head Academy authorised the time off for Lily’s older brothers Patrick, 14, and Alfie, 12.
But Lilly’s school, Abbey Hulton Primary School, refused to sign off on Lilly-Mae and now the little girl faces missing out on her first holiday.
Furious Mum Kirsty told StokeOnTrentLive: "My dad is fulfilling her wish to take them.
"He is a carpet-fitter and goes around schools doing the carpets so he can’t get the time off during the holidays.
"I told the school about it and that my dad can’t get time off work but they still said no.
"This holiday means everything to us, it’s what my nana wanted to do before she passed away.
"My kids have never had a holiday before, they’ve not had a passport and they have never flown anywhere. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them."
Despite facing a £120 fine if she decides to ignore the schools advice, Kirsty added: "No matter what I will still be taking them."
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Councils can fine each parent £60 for taking their child on holiday during term time.
Charges rise to £120 each if they do not pay within 21 days, and if it isn’t paid in 28 days, fees can rocket to £2,500.
Abbey Hulton Primary School said: "Our policy is written to follow local authority and Government guidelines which advises schools to fine parents for unauthorised leave in term time.
"All holidays taken within term time will have a negative impact on a student's education, therefore we never authorise term-time holidays – regardless of circumstance.
"It is the aim of our school, along with all other schools, that all of our children's attendance is 96 per cent and above. This is in line with Government expectations."
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