UNTIL travel firms stop hiking up prices during school breaks families will continue to pay the fine, say parents after it was revealed more penalty notices for taking children out of school to go on holiday are dished out in Bolton than anywhere else in Greater Manchester.

The Bolton News revealed that holiday fines had soared to a record high.

A staggering 3,918 penalty notices were issued to parents for taking their child on holiday during term time last year.

Bolton was number two in the North West for the high number of ‘holiday fines’ issued - only Lancashire had more, 8,901.

Fines for children skipping school for all reasons have rocketed in Bolton, rising from 1,114 in 2014/15 to 4,703 in the last academic year ­- with the majority being for family holidays.

One reader said: “They’re not addressing the real problem of the racketeering by the holiday industry during school holidays. Until they address that families will always put holidays before education especially when the ‘fines’ are a fraction of the increased charges that the aviation industry charges.”

Another added education should come first, saying: “I don’t know when going away on holiday became a ‘necessity’ for so many people.

“If you have children, and you entrust them to the education system rather than to home schooling, the least you can do is help the schools and teachers by sticking to the agreed education dates.

“When your children are grown, you too can benefit from the flexibility that not having school-age children offers.

“A consequence of forcing companies to keep rates the same all year round could well be to put prices up during term time, requiring those without school-age children to subsidise other people’s holidays. A bit of a slap in the face for those who cannot, or choose not to, have children.”