Dear Parents and Carers
Absence in Term-Time
I am sure many of you are aware, through recent coverage in the press and media that schools can no longer authorise holidays during term-time.
This means that from September 2013, schools may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Exceptional circumstances does not include
Exceptional circumstances may include
Regular time off for illness will be challenged, requiring not only medical evidence but also medical guidance on how schools can best support and ‘manage’ those children in school. Saying a child is “unwell” will no longer be enough, parents will need to be specific.
Any time away from school can have a significant impact on educational attainment, success in later life and longer term health and well-being. In law, parents and carers are committing an offence if they fail to ensure the regular and punctual attendance of their child at school.
Therefore, any unauthorised absence in term time can result in the issuing of a Fixed Term Penalty Notice. Parents will have 21 days to pay this £60 fine, after which it goes up to £120 per parent per child.
Failure to pay a Fixed Term Penalty Notice within 28 days may result in a criminal conviction and a fine in the Magistrate’s Court of up to £1000.
A fixed Penalty Notice might also be issued if a child’s attendance falls below 92% with 10 sessions or more of unauthorised absence and no satisfactory reason or explanation is given.
I want to emphasise that these are government changes over which schools have no choice and apply to all schools. The aim is to improve overall attendance figures and reduce the lost days of education which can affect a child’s progress. Your continued support in maintaining our very good levels of attendance is much appreciated. Every day counts!
If you wish to challenge this new legislation you will need to take it up with your local Member of Parliament or with the Department of Education.
Mrs S Brewer
Full details of the changes in legislation, which replace the 2006 regulation that allowed schools to grant up to 10 days leave of absence at their discretion, can be viewed at the following website; an extract is included below for your information: www.education.gov.uk/schools/pupilsupport/behaviour/attendance/a00223868/regulations-amendmendments
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006
Amendments have been made to the 2006 regulations in the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013. These amendments, as described below, will come into force on 1 September 2013.
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 currently allow headteachers to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday during term time in “special circumstances” of up to ten school days leave per year. Headteachers can also grant extended leave for more than ten school days in exceptional circumstances.
Amendments to the 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.