Parents face tougher action if they take children out of school

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MORE parents could be fined for taking their children out of school after Hampshire County Council changed its rules.

In a meeting this afternoon, councillor Peter Edgar, the cabinet member for education at the council, agreed to change the council’s code of conduct.

The council, which is responsible for schools in Fareham, Gosport and Havant, issued just 58 penalty notices in the 2012-13 academic year.

Portsmouth City Council issued 796 in the same period.

Councillor Edgar said: ‘It’s more important than ever for children not to miss any lesson time at school whether that’s being late in the mornings, taking unnecessary time off or going in holiday.

‘It’s the law of the land and it has to be applied.’

Under the updated code of conduct, penalty notices will be issued when a pupil has been absent without authorisation for 10 or more sessions - previously it was 20.

It will also apply if a student has been persistently late for 10 or more times after the close of the register - this was also previously 20.

Fines will also be issued if students miss formal assessments, tests or exams where the dates have been published in advance.

The fines will remain at £60 if paid within 28 days or £120 if paid within 42 days.

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