School Refuser - The Blog

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Parental fines in England for children's poor school attendance has risen sharply

The BBC has reported that the number of parental fines in England for children's poor school attendance has risen sharply since the government ban on term-time holidays was introduced, BBC research suggests.

Almost 64,000 fines have been issued since the law changed in September 2013, a rise of about 70%, according to local authority data.

More than three-quarters of councils, 118, responded to a BBC survey.

The ban has drawn opposition from parents, with hundreds of thousands signing petitions against the new rules and calling for the government to take action against holiday companies who raise their prices at peak times.

Parents are fined £60 per parent per child per period of absence, which rises to £120 if not paid within 21 days.

Some fines will have been for truancy or repeated poor attendance, but most were for parents who took children on holiday during term time.

From last September new regulations have meant that school heads can no longer grant 10 days' holiday "in special circumstances".

However, they can still allow extended leave for more than 10 school days "in exceptional circumstances".

But these absences are subject to strict rules, with heads expected to determine in advance the exact number of days a pupil may have away from school.

I would be interested how these new rules have impacted on families whose children have failed to attend school for reasons well know to us here.

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