Amendments have been made to the 2006 regulations in the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013. These amendments, as described below, will come into force on 1 September 2013.
The current regulations (2006) allow head teachers to grant leave of absence for the purposes of a family holiday during term time in “special circumstances” of up to ten school days leave per year. Head teachers can also grant extended leave for more than ten school days in exceptional circumstances.
Amendments to the 2006 regulations remove references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments make clear that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The DfE now states that head teachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school - if leave is granted.
The DfE has long recognised that schools were experiencing problems of parents using this threshold as a right rather than a notional period of non-attendance in term-time and as some parents are still continuing to do they have taken the decision to introduce new regulations. This was also a recommendation made in the Charlie Taylor Report on Improving Attendance, published in 2012.
The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2007
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 in 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.
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 with 28 days. This brings attendance penalty notices into line with other types of penalty notices and allows local authorities to act faster on prosecutions.
Page Published: 17/06/2013