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The New Costly Reason Why Parents Might Want To Think Twice About Taking Kids Out Of School For Holidays

Young mother with little son runs into the sea on sunset light.
Young mother with little son runs into the sea on sunset light. Tatiana Maksimova via Getty Images

Going on holiday during school term time may seem like the better option as flight prices are most likely cheaper. But the UK government has now introduced new rules for parents taking their kids out of class.

The updated rule means it might turn out more expensive for parents if they decide to book a holiday during term time.

Under the new national framework, all schools will be required to consider a fine when a child has missed 10 or more sessions (five days) for unauthorised reasons, according to the government website.

Starting from August 2024, the fine for missing school across the country will be £80 if paid within 21 days, or £160 if paid within 28 days.

Previously, parents were fined according to their local council, so it would vary in each region. Until August this year, decisions on whether to fine are the responsibility of the local authority.

Currently, according to the Department of Education, school absence fines start at £60 and go up to £120 if they are not paid within 21 days.

The move comes as figures released by the DofE in December show that the vast majority of fines, 89%, were issued for term time holidays.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: “Our fantastic schools and teachers unlock children’s imagination, potential and social skills which is why improving attendance is my number one priority.

“Today we are taking that next step to further boost attendance and I want to thank those who are working with us including teachers and heads.

“Education standards have risen sharply across the country, with Ofsted ratings up from 68% to nearly 90% since 2010 – and pupils’ performance is ranked as some of the best globally – so it has never been more valuable to be in school,” reports The Independent. 

The DofE also says fines will be capped to two fines per parent, within any three-year period.

After this a parenting order or prosecution will be considered. If parents are prosecuted and have to attend court they could face a fine of up to £2,500.

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