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parents face bailiffs over term time holiday fine

10 April 2015

Controversy around the Government’s decision to encourage schools and local authorities to tighten up on term time holidays continues, with news that bailiffs attended the home of a couple in Essex who were fined after taking their 14 year old on a 5 day term-time holiday without permission.

Regulations introduced in September 2013 state that headteachers should only use their discretion to grant pupils leave in term time in ‘exceptional circumstances’. Subsequent DfE guidance states that permission “is unlikely…to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday as a norm”. Parents who take their children out of school in term time without permission can incur fines of £60 per pupil for each period of absence, rising to £120 if not paid within 21 days.

Despite calls for the rules to be relaxed, including most recently from Christine Blower of the NUT, both Labour and the Conservatives appear committed to the policy. It is likely that schools will therefore need to continue to apply it post-election.

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