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Plymouth parents asked for their views on possible changes to school term

Authored by Mary
Posted: Monday, September 16, 2019 - 01:14

Plymouth parents are being asked to give their views on the Council’s proposals to shorten the six-week summer holiday and add a holiday period later in the year. This is one part of changes to the school attendance regulations in the city.

The move would create an additional week of holiday at another point in the year, potentially October and May. This would then provide a potential two weeks for families when holidays are less expensive. Another option being considered is aligning INSET days to straddle a weekend outside of term dates.

Councillor Jon Taylor, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Transformation said: “I recognise that fining parents for taking their children on holiday in term time can hurt families on a budget but it is also important that our children are attending school regularly. By putting forward different options to parents we’re hopeful we can find a solution that works for schools and parents.”

Alongside this the Council is also conducting a statutory consultation, which by law they have to do with schools and the Police. This is in relation to changes to the local Code of Conduct for issuing penalty notices for unauthorised pupil absence.

The proposal is to increase the threshold set within the Code of Conduct, from eight unauthorised sessions (4 days) to 11 unauthorised sessions (5.5 days) and also use the school’s attendance policy as a threshold, before a penalty notice can be issued.

Councillor Taylor added: “We are continuing to work with parents, head teachers, schools and governing bodies to reduce persistent absence by building on the success that schools and our education colleagues have already achieved in supporting attainment and ensuring all our young people fulfil their full potential.”

For more information and to access the consultation survey visit the Council’s website.