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Barnet fines for school attendance

(3 Posts)
Gavire Mon 22-Apr-13 15:48:08

Having taken my lo out of school during term time( only time my husband had annual leave) I now find I have been fined by barnet council. Does anyone know if there is an appeal process or if I'm seriously required to pay? It seems completely unjust when my children are in school most of the time and are only ever off for illness. Please advise.

mummygroovin Sat 27-Apr-13 22:03:56

I wish I could tell you more but I am sick of schools and LAs thinking they rule our lives....Im also sick of smug Calpol-mummies who think that sending their child to school sick is ''sending an important message''....I have had a letter for a meeting when my child has only been off sick...If you need to have a family holiday during term-time then you should..I almost remember every second of every family holiday I ever had and feel they were highly beneficial to my development - some families just cant take them during school-holidays...This must be a human right....I can only wish you well and encourage you to fight it....

dadnlondon Sun 19-May-13 22:55:14

Hi. I deal with attendance at my primary school. Each school has their own policy - ask to see your school's policy - it should actually be on the website or should have been made available to you.
I only authorise up to 5 days for 'exceptional circumstances' so a holiday would never be allowed! A big family reunion, bar mitzvah, etc is classed as an exceptional circumstance. If it is 'exceptional', I have to check that the child has 95%+ attendance (national expectations). If the child doesn't have this, it is not authorised.
If a parent takes their child out for 5+ days without authorisation, they have to be referred to the Educational Welfare Service and they would issue a formal warning. In my LA (not Barnet!), you would only get a fine if you took your child out again in the same year, after the warning. The fine is approx £60.
If your child is below statutory age for school (from term after their 5th birthday) then you can't get a fine.
In order to get a fine, I believe that you should have been given a formal warning first. If the process has been carried out correctly then you should definitely pay the fine or you'll have EWS on your back. At it's worst, in my LA, parents get a fine of £1,000 per child, per parent. I have never known it to get to this stage!
I hope some of this helps, but definitely request the school policy and a meeting to clarify the situation.

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