ALL parents who take their children on holiday in termtime will be fined under new nationwide scheme as ministers vow to end postcode lottery on how councils battle school absence
- Government vows crackdown on parents who take kids on holiday during term
- Registers to be kept on Department for Education database run by Nadim Zahawi
- Parents whose children miss five days will face fixed penalty notice, plans state
- They could also be fined for kids’ lateness or if they’re out during exclusions
All parents who take their children on holiday during termtime will be handed a fixed penalty notice (FPN), the Government announced today.
The new truancy crackdown will also see FPNs issued to parents whose children are late five times in one term, take five unauthorised absences, go on holiday during termtime, or are out in public in the five five days of an exclusion.
Education Secretary Nadim Zahawi vowed to end the ‘postcode lottery’ over how local councils deal with school absences.
He said: ‘I know from the Children’s Commissioner’s work on school attendance that children themselves hugely value being in school with their teachers and their friends.
Education Secretary Nadim Zahawi will oversee a new list of school registers, the plans state
‘My job is to make sure that every child can get those school experiences.’
The education secretary will also oversee a Whitehall database with all school registers, the plans state.
Mr Zahawi added: ‘The plans set out today to reform how absence fines operate, alongside our Schools Bill currently going through parliament, will improve consistency across the country and help tackle persistent absence.’
Children’s Commissioner Rachel de Souza has called for school attendance to rise to 100% by this autumn term.
She urged schools to do ‘whatever it takes’ to meet that goal.
Parent would face a maximum of two fines for each child per school year.
Children’s Commissioner Rachel De Souza called on schools to raise attendance to 100%
If that limit were reached, prosecution would then be considered.
Councils currently set their own thresholds for when fines are imposed on parents.
The plans will also tighten rules on pupil absence in the case of illness.
The current regulations allow a pupil’s name to be deleted from registers if their health makes it unlikely they can attend school.
The Government said this is ‘outdated given changes to provision for pupils with medical conditions to enable many of them to continue their education in their own school’.
The new truancy crackdown will see all parents who take kids off school in termtime fined (file)
Proposals also suggest online learning in the case of absences.
It said that pupils with a child protection plan, education and health care plan or a child in need plan should not be deleted from school rolls without the local council’s consent.
They also suggest pupils younger than compulsory schooling age should still have their absence recorded.
As it stands, their attendance does not need to be recorded by law.
Pupils absent for 15 days or more for health reasons should be reported to the local council to make sure they and their family get more support, the Government added.