Parents Celebrate Local Goverment Association Support
London, 24th October 2014: The Parents Want a Say Campaign are delighted that the Local Government Association, which represents councils across the country, are calling for the changes to term time holiday rules to be reversed.
In a statement issued today the LGA asked for the ban on families taking their children of school during term time to be lifted, they said:
“Such block bans can also be particularly hard on workers in key professions such as those working in the NHS, police force and the military as they are often unable to request leave during busy school holiday periods.
“While councils fully support the Department for Education’s stance on every child being in school every day, there are occasions such as religious festivals, weddings, funerals or perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity whereby parental requests should be given individual consideration.”
Parents Want a Say have been campaigning for a reversal to the amendments to the term time family holiday rules under The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 which came into force on 1 September 2013.
Prior to 1st Sept 2013, head teachers had the discretion to allow up to 10 days authorised absence from school. They are now only allowed to grant leave during exceptional circumstances. There has been no guidance given to schools on what “exceptional” should mean.
Parents are not saying that taking children out of school for family holidays is an absolute right, but are asking for the rules to revert back to those that were in place until September 2013 where the head teacher could decide.
A spokesperson for the Parents Want a Say Campaign said:
“It’s fantastic to hear this cross-party support from the LGA and to see that they understand that there are a wide range of reasons why parents take their children out of school during term time. We reach tens of thousands of parents every week and several things are very clear:
“There is a huge discrepancy between the actions being taken by different schools and by different local authorities. This is due to a great deal of uncertainty about how the rules should be applied. Sometimes schools are telling parents they have no choice and it is the local authority which insists on issuing the fine and at other times local authorities are saying it is down to the schools.