Leave of Absence/ Penalty Notices
Leave of Absence requests/Penalty Notices
The school, (and the Governing Body), have implemented changes, introduced in September 2013, regarding parental leave of absence entitlement for their children as required by the Department for Education. Below are parts of the letter sent to schools:
The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2007
... to inform you of recent amendments to the 2006 regulations in the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013, and the Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2007. These amendments will come into force on 1 September 2013. Term-time holiday
The current regulations state head teachers can grant requests from parents to take their child on family holiday during term time in “special” circumstances. The Government has accepted Charlie Taylor’s recommendation ...changes are made to the Pupil Registration Regulations to strengthen the rules around term time holidays. Amendments to the Regulations now remove references to ‘family holiday’ and extended leave, as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments make clear schools ‘may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances’.
Head teachers should consider...circumstances, such as: the nature of the event for which leave is sought; the frequency of the requests; whether the parent gave advance notes; and the pupil’s attainment, attendance and ability to catch up on missed schooling. Head teachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school, if the leave is granted.
In essence, the changes affected the school’s ability to authorise leave of absence.
The school Attendance Policy also includes information on penalty notices which are issued should attendance at school be irregular and below acceptable levels.
The 2007 Regulations set out the procedures for issuing penalty notices (fines) to each parent who fails to ensure their children’s regular attendance at school or fails to ensure that their excluded child is not in a public place during the first five days of exclusion. Parents must pay £60 if they pay within 28 days; or £120 if they pay within 42 days. The Amendments to the 2007 Regulations will reduce the timescales for paying a penalty notice. Parents must, from 1 September 2013, pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. This brings attendance penalty notices into line with other types of penalty notices and allows local authorities to move quickly on prosecutions.