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Increasing number of absence fines for parents

11 March 2014

Absence fines are back in the news today. Stories highlight the spike in numbers of fines since new regulations came into force in September, suggesting that schools and Local Authorities are coming down hard on parents who take their children out of school for holidays.

This spike suggests the measure has had little impact on attendance, which may well disappoint the government. Introducing the fine system was not a fundraising exercise – it was designed as a deterrent to parents taking children out of school. These statistics suggest it has not been that successful, perhaps understandably as the potential savings achieved by going on holiday during term time dwarfs the £60 fine.

The new rules have only been in place for six months so it is perhaps too soon to gauge their success. Saying that, if the spike becomes a trend over the next 12 months, most will say the measures have failed to achieve their aim.

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