PARENTS have hit out at fines given to parents for taking children out of school during term time last year.

It was revealed that in 2018 to 2019, Lancashire was the highest in the North West for parents receiving the fines.

A total of 9,219 penalties for taking children out of school time were issued last year, a big jump from 2018, when it was 7,891.

Of those penalties, 8,901 were unauthorised family holiday absences when the children should have been in school.

In Blackburn with Darwen the figure was 1,915, just one less than the previous year, with 70 prosecutions.

Parents in East Lancashire reacted to the news.

Catia Stewart said: “Many parents can’t afford £1000s in July or August therefore we take our kids in May or June, as it’s cheaper, so I think this is pathetic.

“As a parent and guardian I would expect this to be my option as I am the one responsible for their own actions.”

Jackie Naylor said: “So people on low wages basically aren't allowed to take their children on holiday? Talk about control, this makes my blood boil.”

The figures come as holiday companies have taken hundreds of calls from customers enquiring about trips away, as soon as travel restrictions to certain countries are lifted.

Lynnmarie Bass said: “Unless the government get involved in controlling the unrealistic and disgraceful price hike during all school holidays, these fines will continue. Nice little earner for local authorities.”

Pete Duxbury said: “If I could get the same holidays as my kids then I'd gladly pay the extra to take them. Since I can’t I’ll take the fine if issued."

READ > Lancashire comes top for number of parents given school holiday fines

Mick Gorton said: “Disgusting, hammering families who are trying to have a special family holiday together, how precious yet the bullies are trying to prevent this, disgraceful.”

Jamie Evans said: “It's a tax on not being able to afford to take your kids away during the school holidays. A tax on not having enough money, let that sink in.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it will be compulsory for children to return to school in September this year - and could face fines if they don’t comply.