Term Time Holidays
You should not expect your child’s school to agree to an absence for a holiday in term time. Parents do not have a legal right to take children out of school on holiday.
Taking a holiday during term time means that children miss important school time both educationally and for other school activities. It will be difficult for them to catch up work later on.
Parents can also be fined for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school.
The Government has recently changed legislation on the authentication of holidays during term time. The school will no longer be able to authorise any term time holidays as outlined below by the Government.
Amendments have been made to the 2006 regulations in the Education (Pupil Registration) (Amendment) Regulations 2013. These amendments, as described below, will come into force on 1st September 2013.
Amendments to Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 regulations remove references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments make clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.
If you need to take your child out of school during term time make sure that you:
- Request the time off for your child as soon as possible and always before the holiday
- Never ask for time off during exam or test periods unless for exceptional circumstances
- Do not book travel for holidays in term time, until you have sought the school’s permission
- Remember that the school might not agree to authorise time off
If the school refuses a request for term time leave and the child is still taken out of school this will be recorded as unauthorised absence and will be noted in the child’s record.
The school may also decide to take the child off roll unless there is an extremely good reason for continued absence. In these circumstances the parent must tell the school about the reason for the continued absence as soon as possible.
As a parent, you are committing an offence if you fail to make sure that your child attends school regularly, even if they are missing without your knowledge. You run the risk of being issued with a penalty notice or being taken to Court.
The Local Authority may decide to prosecute a parent. If this happens:
- Parents can be fined up to £2500 or imprisoned for failing to ensure that their child attends school regularly
- Magistrates can also impose a Parenting Order, which means that the parent has to attend a counselling and guidance programme, usually a parenting class
The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2007
Amendments have been made to the 2007 Regulations in the Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013. These amendments, as described below, will come into force on 1st September 2013.
The 2007 regulations set out the procedures for issuing penalty notices (fines) to each parent who fails to ensure their children’s regular attendance at school or fails to ensure that their excluded child is not in a public place during the first five days of exclusion. Parents must pay £60 if they pay within 28 days; or £120 if they pay within 42 days.
Amendments to 2007 regulations will reduce the timescales for paying a penalty notice. Parents must, from 1st September 2013, pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. This brings attendance penalty notices into line with other types of penalty notices and allows local authorities to act faster on prosecutions.
If you require further advice on any of the above please contact school and speak with the Attendance Team on 01204 576207.