FENLAND: Schools clampdown on the parents who take children out of school for holidays

HEAD teachers and governors of schools in March, Guyhirn and Christchurch are to crack down on parents who take their children on holiday during term time. The cluster of schools, which comprises Neale-Wade Community College and most of its partner primar

HEAD teachers and governors of schools in March, Guyhirn and Christchurch are to crack down on parents who take their children on holiday during term time.

The cluster of schools, which comprises Neale-Wade Community College and most of its partner primary schools in March and nearby villages, will no longer authorise any holidays during term time.

Caroline Sheffield, Projects Co-ordinator for March Schools, described unauthorised absence - including truancy- as the recognised term for absence without the consent of the school.

"The schools' new approach means that they won't authorise holidays during term time, unless there are exceptional circumstances," she said.


You may also want to watch:


"So if parents choose to take their child out of school the absence will be recorded as unauthorised."

She said the action comes as a result of pressure from the government on schools to improve levels of attendance combined with making tougher legal measures against parents of pupils with poor attendance available to the local authority. Since 2001 parents found guilty of school attendance offences could be subject to a penalty of up to £2,500 and or a period of imprisonment for up to three months.

Most Read

"Nationally 15% of the total absence from school is due to parents taking children out of schools on holiday during term time," said Ms Sheffield. "Many parents think, wrongly, that they are entitled to take a child out of school for a holiday for up to two weeks each year.

"The purpose of the tough approach is to reduce this form of unauthorised absence in March schools, and is one that has been shown to work in other areas of the country."

Neale-Wade Community College has already benefited from an intensive programme to improve attendance supported by the County Council since 2006.

Principal Tim Hitch said: "We are enthusiastic about working with our partner primary schools on attendance because we recognise the importance of establishing good attitudes to attendance early in a child's school career."

Governors at Burrowmoor Primary School in March have adopted a zero tolerance approach to term time holidays and have seen a reduction in the number of parents taking children out of school for holidays in term time.

Head Anna Goffe said: "We hope that by taking a consistent approach at all the schools in the cluster we will make our no holidays during term time policy clear to all parents and pupils in March."

Rachel Voss, head of All Saints Primary School in March said, "The majority of pupils attending our schools have good attendance. Some manage 100% attendance, which is fantastic. All of our schools use incentives like good attendance certificates which are given out in assembly, badges, medals or a cup for the best attendance of the week, to encourage pupils to come to school every day and to help parents and carers see how important it is for children not to miss school."

Lynn Quince, head of Maple Grove Infants' School, said: "Children missing school are missing out on vital parts of their education, and possibly jeopardising their future chances in life.

"All parents want the best for their children and we want to encourage them to recognise that an education, uninterrupted by absence, is the best way to enable children to reach their potential.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus