Fine for Taking Child out of School

Canvas Holidays

Fines for Taking Holidays in Term Time.

Cheap Family Holidays

Cheap family holidays during term time have long been a temptation for many families that can’t afford them during the school holidays.

But theses days, parents are asking themselves a combination of questions, from ‘what are the rules?’ to ‘is it really worth it?’

Holidays During Term Time

Whilst this post is part of my #effitfriday rants over on, it covers quite a serious subject.

But first, before I move onto the facts, figures and opinions, I’m going to get straight on with the rant.

My #effitfriday Rant 

The summer before our eldest son started school, we knew it would be the last time we would be able to have a holiday during term time. Whilst we had taken him out of pre-school for the occasional day, taking him out of school, was going to be a no-no.

Three years have passed since then, and with our eldest now about to make the transition up to junior school, I can proudly say that in the nine terms that have passed, he has only had about three days off. These three days were due to illness (mainly a bad cold brought on by his asthma).

And, it has to be said, Joshua has been proud of his 100% attendance certificate, each time he has brought one home.

We, as parents, also believe that by teaching them to work on their attendance at such an early age, once they start work, it will continue.

So why then, do I need the feel to rant?

Because there so many inconsistencies with the rules!

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For example…

Now, any parent will know that when your little one achieves something, it doesn’t take long before they are sharing (or boasting about) their achievements with other kids.

During one of these conversations, I heard a ‘me too’ when the topic of receiving a certificate for 100% attendance was raised. My ears soon pricked up and I just had to butt in.

“So, you achieved a 100% attendance this term too did you?”
“Well done. A great achievement.”

I have to admit, I was a little confused. I knew the children had taken time out of school to go on a ten-day holiday during term time. Without doubting the kids, I wanted to figure out how they had managed to take a ten-day holiday, during term time and still receive a certificate of recognition, so I went to ask their parents.

I knew I had to be a little diplomatic about this subject and I didn’t want to come across a little cheesed off.

“So, how did the kids manage to achieve a 100% attendance record when you took them out for a holiday during term time?”

“They had authorised absence”

“Really? So because they had permission to go on holiday, during term time, they were able to keep their 100% attendance record?”

“That’s right. Had we just taken them out without telling the school first, we would have got into trouble for unauthorised absence.”

Now compare that to our school where you can only get authorised absence under extreme circumstances, where is the consistency in the rules from one school to the other?

I bare no grudge!

Believe it or not, I bear no grudges against parents that choose to take their kids out of school during term time so that they can have a holiday. If that’s what you believe you have to do, that’s your decision.

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And I don’t even have a problem with the holiday industry for raising the prices during the school holidays. It’s called supply and demand.

However, what I do have a problem with is the inconsistency of rules from one school to another. Kids don’t understand the politics and policies of what goes on behind the scenes, they just see their friends flying away on nice holidays whilst they have to contend with getting in a car and going to France.

Try explaining that to a six-year-old, in a diplomatic way.

So, what are the rules, officially? 

If you want to take your child out of school during term time, you can only do so by obtaining direct permission from the head teacher.

Even then, you have to seek permission in advance and they have to be exceptional circumstances.

For further guidance, you may find these websites useful

What are the punishments?

The be all and end all is that you’re going to get a fine. How much the fine will be will depend on each individual case as local authorities and schools deal with these issues on a case by case.

Again, there is no consistency.

Articles from around the web.

As you can see, this is a very popular topic between parents and with news, rules and regulations changing all the time, you really need to keep on top of it.

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Please leave a comment

If you have experience from any of the topics above, please feel free to leave your comments in the box below. I would love to hear them. Thank you


This post was shared on as part of their #effitfriday Linky Party

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  • I find it a cheek that a school can fine you for taking your kids out yet if they go on strike we have to figure out alternative care for when they should be there (and I’m actually pro the right to strike). If I choose to take my child out of school it should be down to me NOT the school/state.

    I get that this is supposed to prevent truancy but the reality is it is punishing (and charging) those of us whose kids go to school everyday but may occasionally, have thought the only way I can give them a decent holiday is to do it outside of regular holiday dates.

    I get even more annoyed when you then hear your child was watching Shrek at school, because that has so much educational bearing! grrrr…..

    • Martin

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      I think that kids playing truant from school and parents taking their kids out for a holiday are two different issues and should, therefore, be dealt with separately.

      A trip to see the pyramids is a bit different to bunking off school and spending time down the arcade with your friends yet they are dealt with in the same manner.

      Thanks for linking up with #effitfriday.

  • We have just applied to take the children out of school for one day. The first day of the next school year. I thought it was going to be an inset day and it’s not. We are flying home from our holiday. It’s been “un-authorised” as not being exceptional circumstances. Now we won’t get a fine because it’s only one day and apparently it has to be five in a row.
    My gripe is that when the school closed for snow-days or teacher strikes, these went on my childrens records as absent too. One rule for one, one rule for another.

    • Martin

      Thanks for passing by and leaving a comment.

      Whilst researching this article, I never came across the ‘five in a row’ rule. It would be interesting to know if this is local to your school only or another new rule that we’ve not yet heard about. Or, of course, it could just be another example of the inconsistency of the rules.

      Thanks for leaving a comment. #effitfriday

  • It’s the inconsistencies that would drive me potty.we aren’t there yet with school politics but I’m not looking forward to it! Thanks for linking with#effitfriday

  • It is unfair and I’m not looking forward to the super expensive holidays but their education is important and so is sticking to the rules. Rules like this should be fair for everyone #effitfriday

    • Martin

      Hi, Lizzie.

      Thanks for leaving a comment.

      Yes, it is totally unfair but ‘business is business’as they say and until somebody spots a gap in the market – Family Holidays, for families, at family prices, then we’re just going to have to endure the ride until such time that our kids leave school. Such a scary thought.

      Thanks for linking up through #effitfriday.

  • I cant comment on personal experience as Oscar is only in preschool atm. However I absolutely agree with you on the travel industry. It’s called business and businesses have an obligation to make as much as money as and when they can (not saying I WANT to pay more for high season breaks, I just understand why you do). What I do have a problem with is parents feeling they are entitled to take a holiday. If you cannot afford school break prices, I’m not convinced you should go. Jeez I would have thought a trip to ‘just France’ as a kid the height of excitement, but we couldn’t afford it so we stayed put. Fines and rules aside, I think it’s just indicative of the society we’ve become, one that depends on instant gratification and has developed an over inflated sense of entitlement.
    Great post #effitfriday

    • Martin

      Hi, Lisa.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

      Some great points made. I remember as a kid, we used to go back to Great Yarmouth every year, and we loved it. I think it’s a case of what you do whilst you’re on holiday that makes or breaks a great holiday.

      While my wife and I are ones for walks, stately Homes, places of interest and the great outdoors, the boys like the things swimming, parks and zoos. So, as you can imagine, when we go away, there is a mixed bag of activities for all.

      As for ‘being entitled to a holiday’, the only people I think that have a genuine argument are service personnel. Whilst this is currently being reviewed, I remember my dad being away for most of my young life, om twelve-month deployments with the Royal Navy. Not once were we taken out of school and whisked away on holiday, proving your point of what we have become and the things we expect in today’s society.

      Once again, thanks for your comments and some great points raised.

      Thanks for linking up with #effitfriday

  • I do agree that children shouldn’t be pulled out of school unless its for a good reason (ie illness, bereavement), but it should be consistent. To me you don’t have 100% attendance if you didn’t attend 100% of the time – sort of a no brainer. The school that ignores that and gives the kids certificates anyway are doing the children no favours in the long run #effitfriday

    • Martin

      Hi, Debbie.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      It becomes very difficult to explain to the kids why these rules are different from one school to the other when we don’t know the answer ourselves.

      ‘It’s not fair’ is a saying that’s often said between kids and is kinda settled by an explanation from their parents. However, in this case, I have to agree with them.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave your comment through #effitfriday.


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