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Holidays in term time - penalty notices

Are you thinking about taking your child out of school for a holiday in term time?

pdf icon Information leaflet for parents [6Mb] - your questions answered.

From September 2013, it has been the law that all holidays in term time (now called leave of absence) must be agreed by the Headteacher/ Principal before the holiday is taken.

Parents do not have a right to take their children out of school during term time and may be fined for taking holidays without the school's consent.

Requests for leave can only be granted by schools if there are exceptional circumstances, and holidays are not considered exceptional. 

A penalty notice is a fine to parents or carers if they fail to ensure regular school attendance.  Penalty notices will be issued where there are 5 or more consecutive days of unauthorised leave of absence.

It is the Headteacher's/Principal's decision if an absence is authorised or not.

Penalty fines are £60 per child per parent if paid within 21 days, and £120 if paid between 21 and 28 days of the issue of the notice.

If the penalty notice has not been paid in full within 28 days of issue of notice, a letter will be sent to the parent/s or carer/s advising them that the case will now be reported to Legal Services for prosecution in the Magistrates' Court.

The prosecution is for the offence of failing to secure attendance at School, not for non-payment of the fine.

If you require more information, please contact the Behaviour and Attendance Team on 01902 550621.