A couple are facing an £1,000 fine after taking their grieving children on holiday during term time.
Richard and Kerry Bowering booked a holiday to Spain with daughters Tori, 10, and Maddison, seven, after their grandmother died and their mum had a cancer scare.
But their school was not “sympathetic at all” and refused to give permission for them to go, and the family were fined £240 when they returned.
The determined couple refused to pay up and the case went to court where the fine and costs increased to a total of £950.
Mr Bowering, from Bristol, said: “In January, their gran died of cancer and then at the end of February their mum had a hysterectomy for cervical cancer.
“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.
“I asked the headmistress for permission and she refused.
“We got back and then we had these fines. It’s happened so quick, and it’s outrageous.”
The girls skipped classed at Little Mead Primary Academy in north Bristol for the holiday to the Costa Brava in Spain for a week in October.
The couple were fined £60 per parent per child by Bristol City Council on the instruction of their daughters’ school.
But they didn’t attend a court date to fight the case, and were given fines and costs totalling £950, earlier this month.
A spokesman for the school said headteacher Barbara Daykin was unavailable to comment on the case, but added: “All she has done is follow Government guidance.”
A spokesman for Bristol City Council added: “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.
“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.”