This is when is it acceptable to miss school
Missing school can have a serious impact on a child’s education and penalty notices were introduced back in 2003 to help clamp down on persistent offenders.
Councils can issue the fines on behalf of schools, with the number handed out rocketing in recent years.
There were 5,654 issued by Lancashire County Council in 2015/16. That figure rose to 9,219 last year – an increase of more than 60 per cent.
Schools may authorise absence in some cases, with possible reasons including:
• religious observation
• some medical appointments.
Among the list of unacceptable reasons for absence are: shopping, hair cuts, work, oversleeping and non-urgent medical appointments.
Holidays are generally classed as an unacceptable reason for absence, but can be approved by a headteacher in advance.
However, guidance states this will only happen in “exceptional circumstances”.
Those breaching the rules risk a £60, which rises to £120 if not paid within 21 days. Parents who don’t pay within 28 days can be taken to court, where they face a £2,500 fine or up to three months in jail.