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Cheaper holidays not a good enough excuse for children to miss schools | UK | News UK News

Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson said it was a “mark of disrespect” to miss class for no good reason as it harms the education of pupils.

She insisted that parents must be fined if children skip school.

Ms Phillipson said: “Cheaper holidays, birthday treats, not fancying it today – these are no excuses for missing school. Penalties must be part of the system, but they cannot be the answer alone.

“Absences…make it harder for other parents, for every teacher, to hold the line. Every day matters.”

She confirmed that Labour would continue to fine parents to address absences, but added the issue “goes beyond that” and is about “working together” to improve attendance.

She said a new system similar to the NHS number would be introduced to hold children’s records across services such as social care and education.

Labour would introduce a national register of children who are not in school and use technology to spot trends to improve coordination between education and social care.

This week Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said that dealing with pupil non-attendance was her “priority” as the Department for Education launched a drive to tackle persistent absence.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-09 22:47:00

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