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'I've been fined £2k for taking my kids out of school to go on holiday - but have no regrets'

A couple who were slapped with a £2k fine for taking their children out of school for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday say they have 'no regrets.'

Rebekah Richardson, 38, and Dale Wood, 46, say that despite the charge, they still saved £3.2k on a family holiday to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. When they compared the price of taking sons Jacob, eight, and Oliver, seven, on the trip in during term time in September to the October half term they were astonished to see a £5k price difference.

They decided to instead go during the school term but say are now "struggling to cope" as they are facing huge fines from their local authority. Derbyshire County Council issued a fixed penalty notice, otherwise known as a fine, to both parents - ordering Rebekah to pay £924 and Dale £1,044.

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Had they not paid up, after 28 days they risked potentially being prosecuted for their children's absence from school - though they have now started a payment plan. Rebekah, a hairdresser, from Clowne, Derbyshire, said: "We're being treated as criminals for taking our young kids on holiday."

"I feel as parents we're penalised for everything now. I have no regrets as a parent - I think you can't ever regret spending time together as a family. The fine situation it's like Russian roulette some get fined some don't which is unfair. Either every parent gets fined or none - you can't pick and choose. I don't think we should get criminal records."

Dale, an army veteran who now works for a water company, had been suffering from PTSD after his brother, Gavin, died suddenly aged 35 - after complications arising from taking the Covid vaccine. The