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At John Hellins we have outstanding attendance and outstanding results, and it is important to recognise the link between the two. The vast majority of our students achieve over 95% attendance and this is what we expect from all students as a minimum.

We have received the following updated information from the Department for Education (DfE) in central government that has announced important amendments to legislation surrounding absence in term time. The following applies to all students of statutory school age.

From 1st September 2013, the law gives NO entitlement to parents to take their children on holiday during term time. Any application for leave must only be in exceptional circumstances and the Headteacher must be satisfied that the circumstances are exceptional and warrant the granting of leave. Headteachers would not be expected to class any term time holiday as exceptional.

Parents can be fined by West Northamptonshire County Council (the Local Authority) for taking their child on holiday during term time without the consent of the school. A Fixed Penalty Notice of £60.00 could be issued to each parent for each child, and so for a two-parent family with two children, this would equal a fine of £240.

The fixed penalty notice fine for each parent/child is £60.00 if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120.00 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days of receipt.

In the academic year 2011 to 2012, 9.7% of all absences in England were due to parents taking their children out of school during term time. The high level of absence has led the Department for Education to make this important decision. The Local Authority will be monitoring all school absences during term time and challenging schools and parents who do not adhere to the new legislation.

As you will appreciate, this is a change in the law beyond the control of John Hellins Primary School, but we do support the principle behind it. Please do contact the Headteacher if you need any further assistance with this.