A MUM is furious after she was fined £120 for taking her kids out of school to go to Glastonbury Festival.
Outraged mum Rachel Bailey, 51, took her teenage twins Blade and Trinity Flint for a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience to the festival in Worthy Farm, Somerset.
Rachel has now hit out at her local council after she was fined £120 for taking her children out of their classes for unauthorised reasons, which is against the policy at the school in Dorking, Surrey.
She was fined £60 for each child's absence which is set to rise to £120 each if it's not paid within 21 days.
The mum-of-two claimed she wanted to take her kids to the festival following an operation she had last year after she showed symptoms of bowel cancer – a disease which killed four members of her family.
Rachel said: "I got fined for taking my kids to Glastonbury.
"It is something I have always wanted to do, and it was something so special to do as a family, after what we have been through.
"I want to make experiences for them while I can, and Glastonbury is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
A FESTIVAL 'LIFE LESSON'
"I am sure my children learned more at Glastonbury than they would have done in the classroom.
"The things that you do when you are there – to go camping, to recycle, to use the long drops, to watch all of that amazing music – you can't teach that."
Glastonbury, which is known for its world-famous headlining acts, is one of the most popular festivals in the UK, with keen festival-goers signing up to the official website months in advance to get their hands on tickets.
Rachel said that her children's secondary school, Priory in Dorking, Surrey, told her the policy was children cannot go on holiday in term time.
RULES FOR TAKING CHILDREN OUT OF SCHOOL DURING TERM TIME
Without special permission from the head teacher, you could be fined for taking your kids out of school on holiday
Your local council can issue each parent a fine of £60, which rises to £120 each if you don't pay in 21 days
If the fine isn't paid in 28 days, you could be prosecuted for your child's absence
To take your child out of school for holidays, an application to the head teacher needs to be made in advance
It's then up to the head teacher to grant the child leave from their lessons, but is usually only allowed in exceptional circumstances
Their absence was recorded as "unauthorised".
Rachel added: "We sort of expected it would happen [the fine], but I know some other people who have said that some schools have been OK with children going to Glastonbury.
"My children had just done their mock exams – I didn't want them to miss anything important, which they didn't.
"The fine is £60 per child and if I don't pay in 60 days, it goes up to £240 per child and if I still don't pay, I have to go to court.
"I'd like to fight my corner, but the only people that would suffer would be my kids.
"Last year I had a cancer scare.
They were asked at school about where they had been and of course, they wouldn't lie, I have always taught them not to lie
"I had some symptoms, went to the GP and they suspected I had bowel cancer.
"I have had four family members die from bowel cancer, so we were all very worried at the time.
"I ended up having to have surgery, and luckily at the moment I have been given the all-clear, but I have to go back for a check-up every six months."
Glastonbury Festival was the family's one big holiday this year, as they're not planning to go abroad.
She said: "It was the first time going to Glastonbury for all of us and we absolutely loved it, the whole thing was amazing.
"My daughter especially is really big into her music and her diversity, she absolutely loved every minute of it.
"But both children are devastated that we got the fine.
"They were asked at school about where they had been and of course, they wouldn't lie, I have always taught them not to lie."
A Surrey County Council spokesman said: "Our main priority is that Surrey's children get the education they deserve.
"We follow government guidelines when it comes to issuing fines, and only prosecute if necessary in conjunction with the schools."
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