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Letter from BCP regarding changes to Penalty Notice Fines for term time holidays

Dear Parent/Carer,

You may have recently heard about the changes to ‘holiday fines’. BCP Council, in partnership with your child’s school, would like to take the opportunity to update you on the changes that the Department for Education have made, and why they are happening.

There are only a few circumstances where a child is allowed to miss school, such as illness or where the school has given permission because of an exceptional circumstance.

However, if your child misses school without a good reason, local councils and schools can intervene and you may be issued a fine.

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.

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.

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.

We have attached a diagram to this letter to better explain this.


What if my child needs to miss school? 

Your child must attend every day that the school is open, unless:

· Your child is too ill to attend that day.

· You have asked in advance and been given permission by the school for your child to be absent on that day due to exceptional circumstances.

· Your child cannot attend school on that day because it is a day you are taking part in religious observance.

· Your local authority is responsible for arranging your child’s transport to school and it is not available on that day or has not been provided yet.

You are a gypsy/traveller family with no fixed abode, and you are required to travel for work that day meaning your child cannot attend their usual school.

Why is attendance important? 

For most pupils, the best place to be during term-time in is school, surrounded by the support of their friends and teachers.

This is important not just for your child’s learning, but also for their overall wellbeing, wider development and their mental health.

If you want to find out more, you may find these links helpful

Fines for parents for taking children out of school: What you need to know – The Education Hub (

DfE external document template (

If you do have any concerns about your child’s attendance, please contact the school directly to discuss this.

Yours faithfully


BCP School Attendance Team

Inclusion Service, Education & Skills


To read the letter in full please click here and open the first document named 'Helping parents to understand the changes to fines for term time holidays'