A review of the Welsh Government’s policy of fining parents for school absence has found that the fines have had no effect on truancy rates.
The report - which surveyed teachers and staff of local authorities and local education consortiums - found the biggest decline in overall absence was in the two years before the Welsh Government brought in the fines.
Indeed the number of unauthorised family holidays actually increased after fixed penalty notices were introduced in 2013.
When the policy was announced, Welsh Conservatives expressed feared that fines would stack up while behaviour remained largely unchanged.
Commenting on the findings, Shadow Education Secretary – Darren Millar – said:
“You cannot put all of your energies into a punitive system, without giving any consideration to the need to improve support and liaison with parents.
“This was lazy thinking from the Labour Party, and unsurprisingly fining parents for unauthorised school absence has done nothing to reduce it.
"My concern from the start was that a system of fines will always hit the most vulnerable hardest without addressing the real reasons behind truancy."