Truancy: Fines:Written question - 106445

Asked by David Simpson
(Upper Bann)
Asked on: 09 October 2017
Department for Education
Truancy: Fines
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans she has to review her Department's policy on fining parents whose children are absent from school because of term-time vacations.
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 17 October 2017

Parents should avoid taking their children out of school during term-time, except in exceptional circumstances. The evidence shows every extra day of school missed can affect a pupil’s chances of achieving good GCSEs, which has a lasting effect on their life chances.

We have a robust local control regime to enforce this, which enables the school or local authority to issue a penalty notice that where parents have failed to secure their child’s regular attendance at school, including if they take their child out of school for a vacation without permission.

Every local authority must draw up a Code of Conduct for issuing penalty notices, in consultation with governing bodies and head teachers in their area. The Code will set out the occasions when it will be appropriate to issue a penalty notice. This can, for example, include circumstances where a pupil is persistently late to school without a valid reason. A penalty notice must be issued in accordance with that Code.

In April 2017 the Supreme Court unanimously agreed with our position that no child should be taken out of school without good reason.

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