The Secretary of State for Education has removed the discretion of headteachers to grant up to ten days leave in term time for holidays.
Henceforth, all holidays will be marked as unauthorised and could be subject to a fine of up to £60 if paid in 21 days or £120 if paid in 28 days.
At the discretion of the headteacher, parents are still allowed to take their children out of school for ‘exceptional circumstances’ such as weddings, overseas funerals and other family events which are not deemed to be ‘holidays’. Permission for these should be applied for in writing to the headteacher.
The Milton Keynes Code of Conduct has been updated to reflect the new arrangements and now states that a fine can be incurred if a child is removed from school for five days.
From September 2013, after the school has sent a warning letter about non-attendance, if there is no improvement, the Milton Keynes Council Senior Attendance Officer will write to parents and invite them to an Attendance Interview. Following this meeting, if there is not improvement, then the parent may be invited back to the school for a Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) interview.