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Only six fines issued for term time holidays in two years

 
Created on 05/09/2018 @ 08:18
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As kids return to school today following the long summer break, we can reveal that just six fines have been issued in Powys over the past two years to parents and carers taking their kids on term-time holidays.

A Freedom of Information request by MyNewtown and our sister site MyWelshpool shows that despite the threat of fines, only two were handed out in 2016/17 and four over the past school year.

Many parents and carers take their kids away during term-time to avoid the hike in prices placed on holidays when schools are off.

While this fines’ figure is unlikely to deter parents, Powys County Council warned that cases are viewed by headteachers on a case-by-case basis and that unauthorised absence could lead to fines. They also explained the process that needs to be followed.

A spokesperson for Powys County Council said: “It is important that a child attends school regularly throughout the term in order to gain the maximum benefit from the education provided.

“Any applications for leave for a holiday during term time made by a parent will be considered on an individual basis by the headteacher.

“Headteachers have access to all the necessary information to make an informed decision and are able to consider individual circumstances on a case-by-case basis. They will consider a number of factors before reaching a decision including time of year, length of the holiday, the reason for the holiday, impact on learning, timing of exams or tests, family circumstances and the wishes of parents, as well as the overall attendance and attainment of the child.

“It is at their discretion as to whether or not to authorise the absence.

“If a headteacher refuses a request for absence to holiday in term time and the parent takes the child on holiday anyway, it would be marked as an unauthorised absence. Only schools, not parents, can authorise absence. An unauthorised absence could potentially lead to a penalty notice being issued to a parent.

“The school can request a Penalty Charge Notice in response to a holiday-related unauthorised absence. This request would be considered by the council before deciding whether to issue a Penalty Charge Notice.”

 

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