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St Christophers Academy

Taking children out of school: What you need to know

How much could I be fined if my child misses school?  

In the majority of cases, schools and local authorities will try and provide support to help you improve your child’s attendance first, but if this isn’t effective or the absence is for unauthorised term time holiday, parents may face paying a fine.

Currently, it’s the responsibility of the local authority to decide when to issue fines to parents, meaning the process varies from council to council.

However, under the new national framework, all schools will be required to consider a fine when a child has missed 10 or more sessions (5 days) for unauthorised reasons.

From August 2024, the fine for school absences across the country will be £80 if paid within 21 days, or £160 if paid within 28 days.

This rate is in line with inflation and is the first increase since 2012.

In the case of repeated fines, if a parent receives a second fine for the same child within any three-year period, this will be charged at the higher rate of £160.

Fines per parent will be capped to two fines within any three-year period. Once this limit has been reached, other action like a parenting order or prosecution will be considered.

If you’re prosecuted and attend court because your child hasn’t been attending school, you could get a fine of up to £2,500.

Money raised via fines is only used by the local authority to cover the costs of administering the system, and to fund attendance support. Any extra money is returned to the government.

Click here to read further guidance regarding fines