School issues warning to parents over term-time holidays
- Credit: Archant
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.”
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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.
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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.