Almost half (46%) of UK parents have taken their children out of school to go on holiday, according to a new study.

Parents who are prepared to let their children miss school say that financial strain is the leading factor in their decision.

Two thirds (62%) say that family holidays are too expensive when schools break up for summer, according to the poll of 2,000 parents for Co-op Insurance.

For more than a quarter (27%), getting time off work within school holidays is difficult, so they resort to going on holiday in school time.

A further quarter (23%) say they take their children out of school for a ‘quieter’ holiday, and 13% feel as parents, the decision ultimately is theirs to make.

Despite taking children out of school without permission being against the law, of the parents who have taken a children out of school, a quarter (25%) have done so for a whole week, and a further one in ten (8%) have gone away for up to two weeks.

Additionally, 27% of parents have skipping school for a family holiday on more than one occasion.

Co-op head of travel insurance, Colin Butler, said: “Having already paid for the holiday itself, travel insurance can be seen as just an optional additional cost, which is why half of families (48%) don’t bother getting travel insurance.

“By not taking out cover however, families are risking nasty financial surprises should the worst happen whilst they’re on holiday.

“We want to make sure families are not only safe on holiday, but carry less of a financial burden when considering travel insurance. That’s why, during the summer, we’ll be offering children free travel insurance.”

From 1st June until 30th September 2018, Co-op Insurance will be offering free travel insurance to children under the age of 18 travelling with an adult.