Quarter of primary schools have fined parents for term-time holidays, survey says

The Guardian is reporting a new survey suggesting that a quarter of primary school leaders have fined parents for taking children out of school for unauthorised holidays in the wake of new legislation banning holiday absences during term time…

The survey also reveals that many parents maybe try to get around the new rules – and the fines – by claiming sickness as the reason for absence.

Legislation that came into force in September ended a policy that allowed schools to grant up to 10 days leave for family holidays. But the national survey of more than 800 primary school headteachers and deputies in England – conducted by The Key, a consultancy service supporting school heads – suggests the new rules are failing to change parents’ behaviour, especially for those with primary school-aged children.

More than half the primary school leaders who responded to the survey said applications for additional term-time holidays had risen in recent years, compared with just a third of secondary school heads.

Some two-thirds of primary leaders said the extra holiday had become an important issue at their school, with the problem most acute in the south-east, where 69% of school heads said it was an issue, compared with 47% of those in the Yorkshire and Humberside region.

The new regulations allow schools to fine each parent £60 for each child’s unauthorised absence, rising to £120 if not paid within seven days, and one in four of those surveyed said they had used the new power since it came into force on 1 September.

The survey found that schools had also called parents to special meetings with attendance panels or welfare officers, and even threatened exclusion in extreme cases…

But some headteachers said the new rules were having little effect on the behaviour of parents and 63% said they did not expect requests for term time holidays to fall despite the new rules limiting applications to “exceptional circumstances”…

More at:  Quarter of primary schools have fined parents for term-time holidays, survey says

What impact are you seeing from the new ban on term time absences? Are parents starting to respect it or not? And what reaction do you see when the fines are given? Please share in the comments or on twitter… 

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Categories: Parenting.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove And in other news, bears poo in the woods. A £60 or £120 fine is nothing compared to the savings made on a term time holiday

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove The morality of upping prices to such an extent during school hols is questionable at best. Another worthless govt policy

  3. Penny_Ten

    SchoolsImprove interesting how many school parent governors seem to be first to take term time holidays in some schools

  4. jcg812

    As long as the financial benefits of extra holidays in term time exceed the fines then this practice will continue.
    Perhaps the onus should be on parents to pay for missed schooling during official holiday times, with an additional fine if they fail to do so.

  5. FionaTipper

    SchoolsImprove a PA I know says they have letters from parents informing of holidays with the £60 chq attached, not much a deterrent then!

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