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News - 14 August 2013

Changes to School Attendance Regulations

From September 2013 amendments to The Education (Pupil Registration, England) Regulations 2006 removes reference to family holidays and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days.

Currently government regulations allow Headteachers to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday during term time in “special circumstances” of up to ten days leave per year. Headteachers can also grant extended leave for more than ten days in “exceptional circumstances.”

Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS comments:
“The amendments make it clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence in term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.”

In order to ensure that schools meet their legal responsibilities, Headteachers and staff must make every effort to make it clear to parents and carers that children and young people must attend school on a regular basis. Any time away from school can have a significant impact on educational attainment, and any unauthorised absence, such as taking holiday in term time, can result in a Fixed Term Penalty Notice. Failure to pay a Fixed Term Penalty Notice may result in a criminal conviction and a fine in the magistrates Court up to £1000.

If you need any help and advice with Free School or Academy Schools, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

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