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The true cost of term time holidays

16 January 2014

Parents of three children have been fined over £600 and ordered to pay costs of £360 following a prosecution for the non-attendance of their children at school. The period of non school attendance was the result of a holiday taken in term time in September 2013. The law applicable to holidays in term time changed that month and such absences from school could only be granted in exceptional circumstances. The absence in this case was not authorised and the parents failed to pay the penalty notice on two occasions.

The case highlights the strict nature of the offences around non-school attendance and the priority given by education policy, which are backed up by legal sanctions, to full time attendance at school. Whilst the parents may have had good reasons for taking a holiday during term time, these were not sufficient to reduce their responsibility to ensure a good education for their children.

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