Ski operator offers to pay parents’ truancy fines

Ski operator offers to pay parents' truancy finesBy Phil Davies,

Ski firm MountainBase is offering to pay fines for parents who take their children away on holiday during term-time.

Admitting its offer encourages parents to break the law, the Bedford-based operator advertised the offer on Facebook.

MountainBase owner Lee Quince said: “Ultimately the decision was down to parents”.

The company said it is forced to put its prices up by almost 50% during the peak season, which it claims is unfair on customers.

The offer comes in the same week that a BBC report revealed that the number of parents fined for taking their children out of school for a holiday rose by more than 70% last year, after the government hardened its stance on the issue last September.

Quince blamed school holiday timings which meant parents faced paying huge price hikes at half term.

“Parents know the situation at the time and whether or not their children are doing well in school.

“We are offering something (skiing) that is only available at certain times of the year,” he told the Telegraph.

“Also it is a sporting holiday and not just sitting on the beach. Skiing is a skill they can learn and develop.

“It is a bribe. We could offer to pay their fines, or their ski passes – it is a financial incentive at the end of the day and the lowest risk to ourselves as a business.

“It is not guaranteed that parents will be fined but there is a comfort factor there if we are offering to pay for it.”

He added: “The government was targeting compulsive truants but has hit innocent families who just want to teach their kids how to ski.

“People accuse us of ripping families off by charging higher prices during school holidays but we are actually just balancing our books because we can’t fill the spaces outside of the half term holidays.”

Sourced by Travel Weekly

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