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Guidelines issued for term-time holidays
Tuesday October 28, 2014 - Email this article to a friend

They do not allow for parents to take children out of school for a ski holiday but they do offer some advice on funerals, weddings and religious events.

The guidelines come from the National Association of Head Teachers and follows confusion over the changes made in September 2013.

This prevented head teachers allowing absences except in "exceptional circumstances"; see here for our report from the time.  

It has been criticised by many in the snowsports world as it takes decisions away from parents.

"Funerals, weddings and religious events will count as acceptable exceptional circumstances but cheaper holidays will not be a good enough reason," said the General Secretary of the NAHT, Russell Hobby in a recent newspaper article.

Each parent can receive a penalty of £60 per child and it rises to £120 if unpaid within 21 days.

Parents who refuse to pay could face prosecution with a maximum fine of £2,500 or a jail sentence of up to three months.

60,000 fines have been issued.

See here for a PlanetSKI story on one family ski company that opposes the recent legislation.

Mr Hobby added: "So what about allowing holidays in term time simply because of the cost? I'm afraid these just don't fit the bill. It's not a good enough reason to damage an education. You cannot easily make up the lost learning at home, and falling behind in class can put children at a permanent disadvantage.

"Those who work in schools share your pain. Many are parents themselves and pay these prices, too. We must tackle this. The government should work with the holiday industry to find a way through."

For the spirit of the mountains

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