Thursday, April 18, 2024

School Absence Fines For Parents To Rise In England

Fines for parents taking children out of school without permission will rise across England from September.

The minimum fine will increase from £60 to £80 per parent as part of a government drive to return attendance to pre-pandemic levels.

A school reportsed that one out of every three of its pupils absent without permission had been on a family holiday during term time.

A head teachers’ union said fines were needed to avoid chaos in schools.

Read Also: England School Inspections To Resume

Local authorities currently have their own policies on when to issue fines, so the likelihood of parents being fined depends on their school’s location.

In a 2022 investigation, some local authorities said no penalties has been issued, while others handed out thousands in one year.

But in an attempt to create a more consistent approach across England, new guidelines tell schools to consider a fine after a child has missed five days’ school without the head teacher’s permission.

If parents fail to pay their fine within 21 days, it doubles.

The £60 fine was introduced in 2013 and has not been increased in the 11 years since.

Head teachers will retain some discretion over which cases to send to the council for potential fines and where support is needed.

Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan said most fines were for unauthorized term-time holidays.

She said said Families with absent children should first be offered support but fines were an important option.

Keegan said if it is a deliberate decision to take your child out of school for unauthorized absence, then that’s something the union do not want to encourage.

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