Commenting on new term time absence figures today, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:
“It is important that children miss as little time at school as possible. The cumulative effect of missed days can be harmful to children’s education. The best way to ensure children are learning and progressing is for them to attend school during term time.
“This means that requests for time off during term time can only be authorised in exceptional circumstances, which does not normally include holidays. The NAHT has clear and reasonable guidance on what constitutes exceptional circumstances.
"However, the system of fines is clearly too blunt an instrument and in many cases it drives a wedge between schools and families. The real problem is holiday pricing. Neither parents nor schools set the prices of holidays. They will both continue to be caught between a rock and hard place without some sensible government intervention.”
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