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Please find below a statement regarding changes that all local schools have made with regard to the well documented legislation related to attendance and the taking of children out of school during term time. Recently, the headteachers of the Crewkerne and Ilminster schools met to discuss the issue of attendance. As you are aware, we presently do not authorise any requests for holidays as a group of schools. The Government has hardened its stance on parents who choose to remove their child from school during term time and has instructed local authorities to issue penalty fines and warning penalty notices. As a group of schools we have agreed to manage this policy in the best interests of the children and will be adhering to the following guidance:-
School will be following the government guidelines and supporting the LA in issuing penalty notices where a holiday of 10 sessions (5 days) or more is taken. This means that in the future, families can expect a fine of £60 per pupil, per parent for taking a holiday of a week or more. Children who are absent from school with illness for a week or more will not be fined but will be expected to produce medical evidence, which might include prescriptions, medication packaging, GP screen prints and appointment cards.
Children who have 10 or more unauthorised absences in any 12 week period may receive a warning penalty notice. Children who receive a notice will be expected to attend school for a given number of weeks without any further absences – otherwise a penalty fine will be incurred. Where a penalty warning notice is issued any illness absences must be accompanied by medical evidence, as described above.
There may be exceptional circumstances where leave is granted and these can be put in writing to your child’s school. Where a family’s children attend more than one school then these circumstances will be discussed with the other school. Additional evidence may be asked for.
This policy is in effect now.