Parents taking children out of school during term time to go on holiday could face fines, under a crackdown by Education Secretary Michael Gove.
Headteachers are likely to lose the ability to sanction up to two weeks a year of ‘authorised absence’ during term time, in a fresh drive to improve attendance rates.
The discretionary absence is intended to cover illness, bad weather and bereavements, but many heads come under pressure to grant it so that children can be taken on holidays at times when it is cheaper.
Under one option being considered, parents who continue to remove their children to take advantage of cheaper term-time holidays could receive a fine.
The proposals follow a review of school discipline and attendance by teacher and behaviour expert Charlie Taylor. It is thought 4.5million days of schooling are missed by pupils going on holidays, which are often significantly more expensive during school breaks.
A source at the Department for Education told the Daily Mail: ‘Any time out of school has the potential to damage a child’s education. That is why the Government will end the distinction between authorised and unauthorised absence.’
The Department of Education is expected to announce the measures later this month.
Monday, February 20, 2012