Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their children are properly educated. When your child is registered at a school, parents, carers or guardians must ensure the regular and full-time attendance of their child. The Local Authority has the power to issue Fixed-Penalty Notices in respect of unauthorised absences. Penalty notices can be issued to each parent and for each child. The Penalty is £120 payable within 28 days, reducing to £60 if paid within 21 days. (Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2004). If holiday absence is repeated, matters can increase and fines can be increased to both parents.
For term-time pupil absences, the Education (pupil registration) (England) (amendment) Regulations 2013, which came into force on 1 September 2013, removed all references to ‘family holidays’ and ‘extended leave’ as well as the ‘notional threshold of 10 school days’ authorised absence.
The 2013 amendments made it clear that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’. The regulations also state that head teachers should determine the number of school days a pupil can be away from school if leave is given for ‘exceptional circumstances’.