What are the rules around taking your child out of school during term time for a family holiday?

Government guidance makes clear that parents are responsible for making sure their “child geta  full-time education that meets their needs”.

It continues: “You can send your child to school or educate them yourself.

“Children must get an education between the school term after their 5th birthday and the last Friday in June in the school year they turn 16.

“You can be prosecuted if you do not give your child an education. You’ll normally get warnings and offers of help from the local council first.”

The Argus:

Guidance from the UK Government adds that anyone wishing to take a their child on holiday during term time will need to “get permission from the head teacher”.

It says: “You can only do this if:

  • you make an application to the head teacher in advance (as a parent the child normally lives with)
  • there are exceptional circumstances

“It’s up to the head teacher how many days your child can be away from school if leave is granted.”

Exceptional circumstances can include visiting seriously ill family or attending a funeral.

The Department for Education have said it is “unlikely” that absences will be approved for a family holiday.

You can see the full UK Government guidance here.

Taking a child out school in England or Wales without permission could result in a £60 fine or worse.

The fine can rise to £120 each if you do not pay within 21 days. If you do not pay the fine after 28 days you may be prosecuted for your child’s absence from school.

Advice from consumer website MoneySavingExpert adds that parents in Scotland will not face a £60 fine, but may be issued with “attendance orders” which can make a parent explain the absence.

If a reasonable excuse isn’t given, they could be “taken to court and face up to one month in prison and a fine of up to £1,000”.

In Northern Ireland, you could be referred to the Education Welfare Service if your child’s attendance falls below 85%.

Failing to engage with the service could result in a £1,000 fine for parents.