August 22 2014 Latest news:
Friday, June 27, 2014
A school has issued a warning to parents thinking of taking their children out of school during term time following the Government’s move to tighten the law.
In a letter to parents, head teacher at Soham Village College, Dr Carin Taylor, warned that, following a change in the law, only “exceptional circumstances” would be considered when granting children leave during term.
Under the new law, both parents could be liable for a £60 fine and Dr Taylor said that, if disputed, the case could end up before a court.
She said: “We are obliged to follow the new government guidelines which state that any time taken off during term time will be unauthorised and parents or carers are liable to a penalty notice unless exceptional circumstances apply.
“A penalty notice, if issued, is per parent per child. The amount is £60 if paid within 21 days, increasing to £120 if paid after 21 days and before 28 days. After 28 days the case is forwarded to the magistrates’ court.”
Dr Taylor said that ‘exceptional circumstances’ in which absence would be allowed might include children taking time to see a family member who is forces personnel on leave from a foreign posting or a parent, grandparent or other close relative being seriously or terminally ill.”
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Cambridgeshire County Council had handed out 79 fines to parents during the 2013-14 school year for taking their children out of school for unauthorised holidays or other unauthorised absences.
The figure represents a substantial increase on the 32 fines handed out in the entire 2012-13 school year and the 31 fines issued in 2011-12.