Under section 7 of the Education Act 1996 parents/ carers are responsible for making sure that their children of compulsory school age receive efficient full time education that is suitable to the child’s age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs the child may have. This can be by regular attendance at school, alternative provision, or by education otherwise (Guidance on Education Related Parenting Contracts, Parenting Orders and Penalty Notices DCSF 2007).
Parents/carers are responsible for ensuring their child attends school regularly. Parents are expected to report their child’s absence from school on the first day of absence and to confirm the reason in writing on their child’s return to school. Where there are concerns about a pupil’s attendance parents/carers are expected to work with school staff and other services to address these concerns. Parents/carers are expected to support school attendance by avoiding family holidays during term time.
Headteachers can only authorise Leave of Absence from school in exceptional circumstances; a cheap holiday is not considered an exceptional circumstance by the DfE. Headteachers can ask the local authority to issue a penalty notice for holidays taken during term time when all the criteria are met.
The council will promote the importance of good attendance and avoiding term time holidays through publicity materials and the media. Pupils are expected to attend and stay in school. Where there are issues that may affect their attendance, pupils are expected to discuss these matters with their parents/carers or a member if school staff.