A couple who took their child out of school for three term-time ­holidays have been warned they face prison if they do it again.

The parents were fined nearly £2,200 for two breaches but failed to pay.

They were ordered to appear before magistrates after pulling their child from school for a third time.

The couple were jailed for four weeks but magistrates suspended the term.

They were told any further illegal holidays could put them behind bars. ­Jonathan Lewis, education director at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Children who frequently miss school are far more likely to fall behind, and thus fail to reach their true potential.”

The parents, who live near Ely, Cambs, but have not been named, were ordered to work with ­probation for one year and pay court costs of £165 each. They must complete 20 days of Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

Until 2013 head teachers could allow for 10 days absence in “special circumstances”. But Michael Gove, then ­Education Secretary, said this could be granted only in “­exceptional circumstances”.

Businessman Jon Platt sparked a legal fight after refusing to pay £60 for taking his daughter to Florida without ­permission. In 2017 the Supreme Court upheld the ban on term-time holidays.

Children are “persistently absent” once their attendance drops below 90%. Last year there were more than 6,400 pupils who fell into that category in Cambridgeshire.

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