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New Attendance Regulations came into force on 1st September 2013.


I draw your attention to the amendments that have been made by the Department for Education to the school attendance regulations.

The first amendment is in relation to:

Term-time holiday  

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 currently allows 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 school days in exceptional circumstances.  

Amendments to the 2006 Regulations remove reference to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days.  The amendments make clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during 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.

Dorset County Council Children’s Services Directorate, fully supports schools in expecting parents and carers to make sure that children and young people attend school on a regular basis. Any time away from school can have a significant impact on educational attainment, success in later life and longer term health and well being.

Dorset County Council will be supporting all schools in ensuring the law is upheld.  In law parents and carers are committing an offence if they fail to ensure the regular and punctual attendance at school.  Therefore any unauthorised absence, such as taking holidays 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 of up to £1000.

The second amendment is in relation to:
The Education (Penalty Notice) (England) Regulations 2007

Amendments have been made to the 2007 Regulations in the Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013.  These amendments, as described below, will come into force on the 1st September 2013.  The 2007 Regulations set out the procedure for issuing Penalty Notices (fines) to each parent who fails to ensure their children’s regular attendance at school or fails to ensure that their excluded child is not in a public place during the first five days of exclusion.  Parents must pay £60 if they pay within 28 days or £120 if they pay within 42 days.  Amendments to the 2007 Regulations will reduce to time-scales for paying a Penalty Notice.  Parents must, from the 1st September 2013, pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days.  This brings Attendance Penalty Notices in line with other types of Penalty Notices and allows Local Authorities to act faster on prosecutions.


Yours sincerely, 


John Taylor