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News - 12 March 2014

Fines rise for parents over holiday absences.

In a study by the BBC, 34 councils across England which responded said almost 5,300 fines had been imposed during the autumn term. This is an increase of more than 70%.

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS and an active school governor comments:
“Last September the government introduced tougher regulations on term-time absence for holidays. Parents in England and Wales have a legal responsibility to ensure their child attends school, if they fail to do so, they are committing an offence under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996.”

The cost of a holiday is often lower during term time, with companies responding to higher demand by putting up prices during school breaks. However, parents can put in requests for term-time holidays, but these are granted or refused entirely at the head teacher's discretion and are not a parental right.

Since 1 September 2013, head teachers have not been able to grant any absence in term time except under "exceptional circumstances", prior to this they could grant up to 10 days of leave a year for family holidays in "special circumstances".

A Department for Education spokesman said: "Poor attendance at school can have a hugely damaging effect, and children who attend school regularly are nearly four times more likely to achieve five or more good GCSEs than those who are regularly absent.

If you need any help and advice with Free Schools, Academy Schools or Charities, 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: abds@netaccountants.net

Brilliant with numbers
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In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goal

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