UK Airport Car Parks has said they are shocked why grieving parents who live in Bristol were fined for taking their children out of school during term time while trying to help them cope with the loss of their grandmother.
Manchester, UK -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/26/2016 --A Bristol Airport Car Parking company who helps holidaymakers find affordable airport parking at Bristol Airport and around the UK has said they are shocked and disappointed after it was revealed a Bristol school and Bristol City Council decided to give two grieving parents a fine for taking their children out of school for a holiday. UK Airport Car Parks (www.ukairportcarparks.co.uk/car-parking/bristol) has said Little Mead Primary Academy in North Bristol and Bristol City Council should be ashamed of the action they have taken and should cancel the £950 fine.
Richard and Kerry Bowering had a year that most people could not imagine. First they lost their grandmother and had to explain the loss to their young children, and then Kerry Bowering had a cancer scare where she had to undergo a hysterectomy. Both parents approached their children's school, Little Mead Primary Academy in North Bristol and explained what had happened to them. They asked for permission to take their children out of school to go on holiday to deal with the traumatic year they had. However, common sense would have said the school would have been understanding and given permission, instead, it seems the Headteacher lacked common sense and refused.
He said: "In January, their gran died of cancer and then at the end of February their mum had a hysterectomy for cervical cancer," said Mr. Bowering.
"They were really badly affected by those things - it was a nightmare time - so we thought we would give them a break and take them on holiday. I asked for a bit of compassion to allow us to do that," he said.
The Bristol parents decided to do what most parents would do and put their children first. Richard and Kerry Bowering decided to take their two children Tori, ten, and seven-year-old Maddison out of school to help them deal with the traumatic year. Once they returned from their well-earned break, the not so sympathetic headteacher contacted the council over the absence, where the parents were issued with a fine. Richard and Kerry Bowering was given a £240 fine, which was £60 per parent, per child.
Chris Fryer from UK Airport Car Parks said: "It does not make sense to fine the parents for trying to look after the well-being of their children. I personally think it's disgusting that the family was fined under those circumstances. A bit of common sense and compassion is needed."
In protest to the fine, Richard and Kerry Bowering refused to pay it, but then with costs, the fine was increased to £950 after Mr Bowering failed to make it to court due to work commitments. Both parents have said they were shocked over the fine and now parents all over the country have called on Bristol City Council to use common sense, with some parents calling for an enquiry to take place and even disciplinary action to be taken against the school.
The court has told Mr. Bowering that he must pay the fine by February 1, 2016. However, they have said he can pay the fine at £20 per week to make it easier, but that would mean he would be paying the fine off for the next year.
A spokesman for Bristol City Council said they took the request from the school concerned. "The council has a duty to follow the current legislation and national guidelines relating to pupil attendance, as set out in the Department for Education's guidance," he said. "This includes fines which are also set out by central government.
"The guidelines regulations were revised in 2013 and now state that head teachers should not authorise any absence during term time unless they consider there to be exceptional circumstances surrounding the application.
"If a school believes it's necessary, they can request a penalty notice for a child's unauthorised absence from school, which we, as the local authority, have the power to issue," he added.
UK Airport Car Parks who has become one of the most recommended airport car parking companies in the UK has said they would love to hear the headteachers view on the action that was taken. Read their article on their blog about the parents being fined. (http://www.ukairportcarparks.co.uk/blog/bristol-couple-fined-for-school-term-time-holiday)
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