Are you thinking about taking your child out of school for a holiday in term time?

All holidays in term time (now called leave of absence in exceptional circumstances) must be agreed by the head teacher/principal before the holiday is taken.

Parents/carers do not have a right to take their children out of school during term time and may be fined for taking holidays without the school's consent.

A penalty notice (similar to a parking ticket) may be issued where parents/carers fail to ensure regular school attendance.

Penalty notices, when issued, informs the parents/carers to pay a fine of £60 (if paid within 21 days) or £120 if paid within 28 days (from September 2013).

  • Penalty Notices are issued separately to EACH individual parent/carer of each individually named child. (i.e. one Penalty Notice per parent per child) ALL Penalty Notices need to be paid.

Pay a school absence penalty notice

It is the head teacher's/principal's decision if an absence is to be authorised or not. They may request the Schools Attendance Support Service to consider issuing a penalty notice for any pupil with irregular school attendance.*

(*Supplements existing sanctions under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996 (as amended by Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003 and Section 36 of the Children Act 1989). Parents may be prosecuted for the original offence if the penalty is not paid.)

For more information: Legal Action to Enforce School Attendance (Penalty Notice)

Please see our school term dates page for school holiday dates.

School Absence Prosecutions Policy (March 2021)

Penalty Notice - Code of Conduct (Sept 2022)

The Supreme Court judgment 

Contact us

Please email us on:

Please call us on:
0121 569 8147

Our telephone line is open as follows:

  • Monday          09.00    13.00
  • Tuesday         09.30    13.30
  • Wednesday    13.00    17.00
  • Thursday        09.30    13.30
  • Friday             09.00    13.00

At very busy times, you may hear our voicemail message. Please do leave your details and we will get back to you.

We are based at: 

Schools Attendance Support Service
Sandwell Council House
Freeth Street
West Midlands
B69 3DE