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.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 11:45 am

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:

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

This is when is it acceptable to miss school

• emergencies

• religious observation

• bereavement

• 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.