The Department for Education (DfE) has announced important amendments to legislation surrounding holidays in term time.
The new law gives no entitlement to parents to take their child on holiday during term time. Any application for leave must only be in exceptional circumstances and the Head Teacher must be satisfied that the circumstances are exceptional and warrant the granting of leave. Head Teachers would not be expected to class any term time holiday as exceptional. Parents can receive a Penalty Notice from the Local Authority for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school. From September 2013 these Notices now cost £60 per child per parent if paid within 21 days and £120 if paid between 22 and 28 days.
In the academic year 2011 to 2012, 9.7% of all absences in England were due to parents taking their children out of school during term time. This high level of absence has led the Government to make this important change to legislation.
As a Local Authority we fully appreciate the challenges that some parents face when booking holidays, particularly during school holidays. However all time in school is precious so we are expecting that all schools in Liverpool will introduce firm policies and carry out stringent checks to ensure that there is a significant reduction in the numbers of such absences occurring during term time. The Local Authority will be monitoring all school absences during term time and speaking with Head Teachers about challenging parents that do not adhere to the new legislation.
I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Local Authority and your child’s school to thank you for your full support in this matter by not taking your child out of school during term time.
This new legislation will bring about increased attendance and improving standards in Liverpool schools.
Further information can be obtained from www.dfe.gov.uk.
Head of Attendance Services,
Liverpool City Council