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Term Time Absence

 

Children have 13 weeks annual holiday from school and school holiday dates are published well in advance and are available online. As such, all parents/carers are expected wherever possible to plan and take their family holidays at this time so as not to disrupt their children’s education. Education law states that parents do not have a right to take their child out of school for a holiday during term time. Only in exceptional circumstances may a headteacher grant permission for leave; and it is the headteachers decision on whether the absence is exceptional and how many days to approve.

 

Parents/carers who take their child out of school without the absence being agreed and authorised in writing by the school can be issued with a penalty fine.

Possible penalties for non-attendance

Once you have registered your child at a school it is your responsibility to make sure that she/he attends regularly and punctually. If you fail to do so the Local Authority has a statutory duty to consider legal action to enforce school attendance.

There are a number of legal measures that the Local Authority can pursue, these include:

  • being issued a voluntary parenting contract

  • being included in the fast track system which means you will be given 12 weeks to improve your child's attendance

  • receiving a penalty notice. This is a fine of £60 per parent/carer for periods of unauthorised absence such as truancy, holidays in term time, lateness,unauthorised absence during formal exams, schools assessment or testing or poor patterns of attendance/punctuality

  • being prosecuted in the Magistrates’ Court. This means you could receive a community order, a fine of up to £2,500 per parent/carer or a custodial sentence

  • your child being issued with an education supervision order. This is an order where the child attends court and certain measures are put in place regarding attendance at school.   

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