The TES is reporting that the number of days missed for family holidays is at five-year high
Around one in 13 pupils (7.6 per cent) missed at least half a day after being taken on trips in the autumn and spring terms of 2015/16, according to Department for Education (DfE) statistics.
This is up from 7.2 per cent the year before, and includes holidays approved by head teachers as well as those that were unauthorised.
A breakdown of absence by reason shows that one in 20 half days missed were down to unapproved family trips – a five-year high. This is has gone up from roughly one in 23 half days in the previous academic year, and one in 30 in 2011/12. The statistics show the proportion of time missed due to authorised family holidays has remained static at 1.2 per cent.
The latest figures come amid continuing controversy over a government crackdown on school absence, introduced in autumn 2013.
Overall, unapproved family holidays accounted for 5 per cent of authorised and unauthorised absences in 2015/16, compared with 4.4 per cent in 2014/15. This had dropped from 4.6 per cent in 2013/14 – the year new rules on school absence, including higher fines for parents if children miss lessons, came into force.
Have you seen an increase in the amount of children taking time off for family holidays? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie
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