-Teacher Jenny Hayden, 39, and husband Anthony, 40, took children to Peru
-Said she’d take Joe, 15, and Molly, 12, again as ‘enhanced’ their education
-But that wasn’t enough to stop the couple being fined £240 – £120 each
-Took children out of Wright Robinson College, in Manchester, for a week
A teacher fined for taking her two children out of school to go to Peru said she would do it again because it ‘enhanced’ their education.
Jenny Hayden, 39, and husband Anthony, 40, took their children Joe, 15, and Molly, 12, to the South American country on a 12-day break last month.
They went on an ‘educational’ tour visiting Inca ruins, walking up Machu Picchu and seeing the capital, Lima.
But that was not enough to stop the couple being fined £240 – £120 each – for taking the children out of Wright Robinson Sports College in Gorton, Manchester, for seven days.
Mrs Hayden, who set up her own business with a friend running a pre-school, wrote on Facebook: ‘As a teacher myself I feel those seven days away from school did not jeopardise my children’s education in any way, it ultimately enhanced it.
‘I pay my fine of £240 and pat myself on the back for investing in my children’s education and their future. I’d do it again tomorrow!’
On the trip, the family travelled into the Andes where they mixed with ‘mountain folk’ and went on a guided tour with a ‘genuine Inca warrior’.
They also did voluntary work with Planeterra, a women’s cooperative, and went on a cultural tour of Lima.
Mrs Hayden, of Droylsden, Manchester, added: ‘We spent 12 days (the rest was Easter holidays) at the most educational, fantastic place on earth.’
Mr Hayden, who runs a garage, said: ‘It was something we decided was the right thing to do.’
The actual price of their holiday is unknown. But flights to Peru during school holidays cost almost £4,000 for a family of four but during term-time the cost is dramatically lower – just over £2,000.
The couple would have had to buy their two children adult tickets because they are aged 12 or over. The family would have made a saving of around £1,800 by booking the flights during term time.
Mrs Hayden’s Facebook post promoted a flurry of replies, most offering support. One said: ‘Travel is one of the best ways to educate our children, and a parent knows what is best!’ Another said: ‘Well done. Shouldn’t have been fined. Should be at school’s discretion.’
Around 65,000 fines have been issued nationwide since the ban on taking children out of school in term time began last year.
Angela Bowker, head of student services at the school, said it was supportive of the activities on the trip but ultimately the family had broken the law.
She added: ‘The family did follow procedure and apply for leave during term time, but there were no circumstances surrounding the leave which meant it had to take place within term time.’