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Does anyone know what the fine would be to take my dd out of school for 1 week?

(26 Posts)
mummyloveslucy Mon 24-Mar-14 12:54:55

Hi, we're hoping to take our 9 year old daughter to Florida 1 week before they break up for the October half term.
She is at a mainstream church primary but has a statement and a full time one to one lady. I'm not sure if this makes a difference? It would make us feel more guilty anyway....
Would they fine us for the week, and if so, how much?
Thanks. smile

SafeAsHouses Mon 24-Mar-14 12:57:47

£60 per parent, so £120 in total. You'll receive the fine when you return from the holiday. I only know this because a close friend just went to the Canaries for a week and received £120 fine when she returned (I believe it might be reduced if you pay within a certain time frame). Check your LEA though - I believe it can vary between regions.

prh47bridge Mon 24-Mar-14 13:00:30

If the holiday is unauthorised the fine will be as the last poster says - £60 per parent. If the school is willing to authorise the holiday there won't be any fine.

mummyloveslucy Mon 24-Mar-14 13:07:12

O.k, thank you. It would still be cheaper than going in July then. smile

kilmuir Mon 24-Mar-14 13:17:45

Is it 120 per day or week?

SafeAsHouses Mon 24-Mar-14 13:23:27

Its £60 per child, per parent, per week of unauthorized absence in our area.

So one child, for one week = £120 (£60 per parent). I'm guessing it'll cause all sorts of trouble for separated parents if one parent takes child away for a week and the other parent has to pay for their part of the fine.

Galena Mon 24-Mar-14 13:28:02

in some areas its 60 per parent per day, so it would total 600 for the week.

prh47bridge Mon 24-Mar-14 13:51:37

The regulations aren't specific but most areas will only fine parents once per period of unauthorised absence. I haven't come across any LAs that fine per day but I'm not going to say categorically that it doesn't happen.

caffeinated Mon 24-Mar-14 13:52:15

Our LA has yet to fine anyone.

tiggytape Mon 24-Mar-14 13:59:35

The fine isn't the whole story though in terms of holiday costs.
The reason for the fine is that it is illegal to take a child out of school without permission unless they are ill (the fine is actually a penalty notice - a bit like a speeding ticket).
As a one off, this isn't a problem but parents can't for example decide to have a cheaper holidays every year and just pay the fines every year because after a certain amount of unauthorised absence, it would go to court and they'd be prosecuted.

I am assuming this is more of a one-off holiday of a life time scenario in which case saving money and paying the fine won't be a problem but for annual holidays, there isn't the option to have cheaper flights and a £120 fine as a trade off time after time.

LittleMissGreen Mon 24-Mar-14 15:41:20

Tiggy, do you by chance have a link to the law where it states it is illegal to take a child out of school unless ill? Would be useful for future reference! Thanks.

tiggytape Mon 24-Mar-14 16:43:26

The legislation relating to this is covered by Section 444 of the Education Act 1996. The 2013 ammendment removed the right to request upto 10 days for a family holiday which had been allowed until September of last year.

The links I have are pdf ones but you can look the laws up in full. For example the 1996 Act says:
"Parents of compulsory school age (five to sixteen) children have a legal duty to ensure their children receive suitable education, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise than at a school (this includes home education). If a child is registered at school, parents have the legal responsibility for ensuring that their child attends regularly."

And Section444 goes into the ins and outs of this offence a bit more. It is quite detailed but as an example:
(1)If a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, his parent is guilty of an offence.

[F1(1A)If in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (1) the parent knows that his child is failing to attend regularly at the school and fails without reasonable justification to cause him to do so, he is guilty of an offence.]....

....etc etc

There are defences in law a parent can use. The child being ill is one such defence as is the child taking authorised absence.
An unauthorised absence is not a defence since only a Head Teacher and not a parent can decide to grant a child time off of school. Therefore a parent taking a child out of school without permission commits an offence of failing to ensure attendance which is when a fine can be applied. In more serious or repeated cases (or where parents refuse to pay the fine) parents could be prosecuted for this offence.

Not all LAs fine first offences or short amounts of time off school. Some issue warnings first but it is a criminal matter and not a school matter as some people believe.

LittleMissGreen Mon 24-Mar-14 16:44:30

Thank you smile

Branleuse Mon 24-Mar-14 16:47:34

is she autistic or have adhd?

id big that up in the letter of request. Due to her additional needs, it would be completely out of the question to take her in peak holiday time. sensory overload, too much queuing etc.

Branleuse Mon 24-Mar-14 16:49:13

and dont. mention that its florida in the letter.

just family holiday

Branleuse Mon 24-Mar-14 16:49:51

as they can authorise it in special circumstances

givemeaclue Mon 24-Mar-14 16:53:18

I wrote to school sayin takin dcs on holiday for 4 days joined on to half term, no special circumstances so know it is unauthorized. They wrote back saying I won't be fined unless further unauthorized absence.

mummyloveslucy Mon 24-Mar-14 17:41:38

Thanks everyone. I'm hoping it'll be authorised as we never go on holiday.
She does, I'm sure have PDA, a form of autism and does suffer badly from sensory overload etc. We are in the process of getting it diagnosed.

tabitha8 Mon 24-Mar-14 18:55:51

If a child only has one week off each school year to go on a family holiday, why doesn't that count as "regular" attendance?

givemeaclue Mon 24-Mar-14 19:14:54

Because it is unauthorized absence.
I plan to take mine every year. So far so good.

Chocovore Mon 24-Mar-14 20:31:06

Depends on hour LA. Have a look on their website. Ours says:
If your child is absent from school for 10 sessions* in a ten-week period, without authorisation from their school, you will be sent a warning letter by the school. This includes sessions where your child has arrived after the school’s registration period without an acceptable reason. If there are no unauthorised absences in the next 15 school days, no further action will be taken. If there are further unauthorised absences there will be no further warning and a Penalty Notice will be issued by the Local Authority.

Galena Mon 24-Mar-14 21:07:30

Ours says exactly the same, Chocovore (even down to the *!) so I wonder if we are neighbours...

RustyBear Mon 24-Mar-14 21:17:28

The * indicates a footnote which reminds you that each school day has two sessions, so it is absence for 5 school days or equivalent that triggers a warning letter.

lougle Mon 24-Mar-14 21:37:26

Yes, it's really important to note that each school week has 10 sessions so a two-week holiday would be 20 sessions.

dixiechick1975 Mon 24-Mar-14 21:37:38

Just to say October is a fab time for Florida. Warm but not too hot, little rain and fairly quiet. Not sure what your DD's SEN is but Florida in summer is not something i'd fancy with any child. Been the last 4 Octobers (luckily DD gets 2 weeks off then)

If you do decide to go - pop over to thedibb forum. I've an 8 year old with a physical disability - I post on thedibb as dixonsontour.

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