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Ski company offers to pay fines for parents
Friday March 14, 2014 - Email this article to a friend

The chalet company MountainBase says it will pay if parents are fined for taking their children out of school for a ski holiday. Reaction has been mixed.

The company is based in the UK and has a property, Chalet Inferno, in Morzine in the Portes du Soleil.

It has made the following pledge on its Facebook page.

"Book a week with children at MountainBase we will if you receive a fine from your school / local authority pay the fine on copy of a receipt from yourselves. This is based on any booking in March/April except the free ski pass option," it says.

Legislation was introduced last September that effectively prevented head teachers allowing holidays to be taken in term time; see here for our story from the time.

Parents can be fined up to £60 per child,  It rises to £120 if not paid within a week. If parents refused then they can be fined up to £2,500 with three years in prison.

Head teachers and the National Union of Teachers have criticised the move. Others say it is wrong for a company to encourage people to break the law.

MountainBase has one property in Morzine and indicates the new legislation has had an impact on its business.

The owner of the company, Lee Quince, has admitted to the BBC that his offer is "irresponsible".

He said no-one has taken up the offer since it was posted but now the huge publicity has brought some interest.

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On its web site the company goes on to explain its position further.

"The debate surrounding academic learning is very personal to every individual and everybody has a different stance and take on the subject. As a parent myself education for my children is one of the most important parts of modern society and is part of a firm grounding for their future, what must be respected is everybody is different with different skills and different interests and as a society we should embrace these, nurture these and build on them, not everybody is a square peg in a square hole," says Lee Quincy .

"The repeated lack of attendance from school is a criminal offence under the Education Act in England. We do not condone such actions and leave the decision solely at the discretion of the parents. It is advised that as per the wording of the Education Act in all cases that a application for 'leave' is lodged with the governing body or proprietor of the school," he adds.

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Earlier this week we reported on an increase in parents being fined, see here for that story, and see this related story on calls to stagger school holidays.

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