As the end of school term rapidly approaches many of us are reaching for the sun cream or busily packing beach towels into suitcases.

But while many families will wait until the school break to take their summer holiday, some have already jetted off on their trip, taking their children out of school during term-time to do so.

But while parents give many reasons for taking their child out of school for a holiday, such as price increases during the official school break or being unable to get time off work, they all have the same result.

A £60 fine.

Since a change in the law in September last year, headteachers are not allowed to grant pupils a leave of absence during term-time unless they consider that there are exceptional circumstances and an advance application is made.

Essex County Council can hand out penalty notices of £60 for each child to parents who take their children out of school for a holiday without permission.

See the MBS tomorrow for a special Spotlight report