The summer holidays are over, but did you manage to get away for that much-needed break with the kids this year? The new school term began at the start of September and various cases of parents taking their children out of education to enjoy trips abroad recently have sparked controversy, with opinions very much divided.
Here’s more about the government’s rules on the matter, potential consequences and everything else you need to know.
You have to get permission from the head teacher if you want to take your child out of school during term time. You can do this if you make an application to the head teacher in advance or if there are exceptional circumstances. It’s up to the head teacher how many days a child can be away from school, if leave is granted at all.
Schools can use various legal powers if a child is missing school without good reason. This includes:
The government argue that there is clear evidence that allowing children to miss school lessons has a direct impact on their attainment.
Some parents argue that term-time holidays booked far enough in advance for an agreed number of days and not during a crucial learning or examination period should be allowed. It is suggested that there are important social and cultural experiences to be had on holiday and that a short time away from the classroom would not have a detrimental impact on a child’s education.
Nonetheless, thousands of fines have been handed out since the rules on term-time holidays were tightened up in September 2013.
An absence for bereavement of a close family member, a funeral or important religious observances. However, if an event could reasonably be scheduled outside of term time, such as a general family holiday, it would not be usual for a head teacher to authorise absence.
Yes. Your local council can give you a fine of £60, which will rise to £120 if you haven’t paid within 21 days. If the fine still isn’t paid after 28 days, you may be prosecuted for your child’s absence from school.
You could then get a fine of up to £2,500, a community order or a jail sentence of up to 3 months as well as receiving a Parenting Order.
The guidelines in this post apply to schools in England and there are different rules for other areas of the UK.
Would you take your children on holiday during school term-time?
Published on 17th August 2017
Published on 31st August 2017
Published on 4th April 2019