PARENTS in Oxfordshire were hit with more than 300 fines after their children missed school, new figures reveal.

More fines were issued to parents in Oxfordshire after their children missed school in 2020-21, despite figures falling in the rest of the country.

Department for Education data shows that 316 penalty notices were issued across the county for a child’s poor attendance in 2020-21 – though measures did not apply for two months when schools were not open to all pupils.

People told to avoid large gatherings as Covid rates reach record high in Oxfordshire

The National Association of Headteachers said it is unsurprising that there was such a significant drop in the number of attendance fines issued across England as the coronavirus pandemic 'fundamentally changed' the education landscape.

There were no figures available for 2019-2020 because of the pandemic, but the number of fines last year were up from 152 between 2018-19.

It was one of just four local authorities in the whole country to see a rise in the number of fines issued.

Number of coronavirus patients hospitalised in Oxford rises by 30%

Of the fines, 87 per cent were for unauthorised family holidays.

Across England, the number of notices issued fell from 333,400 to just 45,800 over this period – a fall of 86 per cent, and the lowest number since 2011-12.

Penalty notices are £60 if paid within 21 days of being issued, but rise to £120 if paid between 22 and 28 days.

If the penalty is still outstanding, the council must either prosecute for the original offence or withdraw the notice.

Pictures show Oxford city centre deserted on Christmas Eve

There were almost 5,000 prosecutions for non-payment nationally last year – but none were against parents in Oxfordshire.