So parents throughout Burnley and Pendle have been whacked with fines for taking their children out of school in term time.
No great surprise there then ... and no doubt the figures will keep on rising.
There are many key factors behind the figures just released.
Some completely understandable, some justifiable, some just complete economic sense.
First of all, there are still some companies in the area who shut for traditional Wakes Weeks holidays. What are parents supposed to do if their children are still in school and they are forced to be on holiday?
I know what I’d do.
I would be on the first flight out of the country, quite happily paying the £60 fine and saving several hundred on the cost of the holiday at a time when these pages will be stuffed full of reports and pictures of school trips to here, there and everywhere.
So in the case of parents with no choice about when they have their holidays, such absences are completely justifiable.
I have already covered something of the economic argument. I was recently trying to book some flights at a time which would have been in the school holidays. Later we were able to change our plans and will now be out of the country when children will, on the whole, be in school. Saving? £860 between the four of us!
Now how about understandable?
Last year I went to a far-flung isle for a family wedding in term time.
Were family members attending meant to leave their children at home? Were the happy couple meant to fork out an even bigger wad of cash to tie the knot in the school holidays? No and, er, no!
If parents are persistently taking the mickey out of the system and simply refusing to send their children to school, of course something has to be done about it.
I am the first to admit a child’s education is a crucial part of shaping them for the future. I just hope the crucial lesson in life – common sense – is being used when parents take their children out of school because they have little or no real choice.