A record number of penalty notices were issued to parents for withdrawing their children from school in Norfolk to go on holiday last year, new figures show.

Penalty notices are handed to a guardian if a child frequently misses school and costs either £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt or £120 thereafter.

If it is not paid in four weeks, the local authority must either prosecute or withdraw the notice.

Department for Education figures show Norfolk County Council handed out 7,791 penalties to parents and guardians for their child's persistent absence in the 2022-23 academic year.

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Of them, 7,657 (98pc) were issued due to students being taken out of school for holidays – up from 2,883 the year before, and the highest on record since 2016-17.

The National Association of Head Teachers said fines are "too blunt" and are becoming ineffective.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary, said: "Unless more is done to find out the reasons behind continual periods of absence and tackle the root causes behind persistent absenteeism, including support for vulnerable families and for children and young people’s mental health, fining families is unlikely to solve the issue."