Parents given two-month warning before fines for taking children out of school rise

Two month warning as fines for taking children out of school set to rise
-Credit: (Image: Compassionate Eye Foundation)

Fines for taking children out of school are set to rise this summer. Many parents opt to take family summer holidays during term-time to beat soaring travel costs.

However any unauthorised absences could lead to fines, with 2013 legislation stipulating that only in 'exceptional circumstances' can headteachers approve term-time leave. Government officials also stressed that "every moment in school counts" and say "days missed add up quickly".

Under new guidelines, schools have been told to consider imposing fines when a child misses ten or more sessions - five days - without authorisation, reports the Liverpool Echo. The fine for unauthorised school absences currently stands at £60.

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The fine increases to £120 if not paid within 21 days. Non-payment after 28 days could result in prosecution.

But from August fines will be raised to £80. This will jump to £160 if not paid within the 21 days.

The Government website said the increase is "is in line with inflation" and "the first increase since 2012". It said money generated from fines would only be used by the local authority to "cover the costs of administering the system", and to "fund attendance support", with "any extra" being "returned to the government".

Parents have been warned a second fine for the same child within any three-year period would be charged at the higher rate of £160. Fines per parent were capped to two fines within any three-year period, with a parenting order or prosecution considered for further breaches once the limit has been reached.