Parents can no longer request absences for holidays in term time
PARENTS in South West Wales will no longer be able to request their child has authorised absences from school for holidays.
Until now parents in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Carmarthenshire were able to request time off for their children — and have it marked down as an authorised absence if it was agreed to by the headteacher.
But now letters have been sent out saying if a child is taken out of school, it will be marked as unauthorised and will show on their attendance record.
Sketty mum of four Louise Davies said: “As a parent of a large family, there are some occasions when you have to make a decision to take the children out of school for a holiday.
“I wish it wasn’t the case. But the difference in price between school term time and school holiday time is staggering.
“Family holidays are important to a child’s growth and it could be argued that they form a key part of a child’s development as well as their academic progress.
“I think this latest ruling amounts to a nanny state, that many parents will be opposed to.
“It is also worrying that these policies can be adopted without any consultation with the families involved.”
A spokesman for Swansea Council said: “Local authorities in the South West and Mid Wales Education Consortium, which includes Swansea, has always actively encouraged parents and pupils not to take holidays during term time so that they can fully benefit from the opportunities their school provides.
“If children are not in school, they cannot learn.
“The consortium has taken the decision that all absences caused due to pupils being taken on holiday during term time should be deemed to be unauthorised.”
A spokeswoman for Carmarthenshire Council added: “This is a regional approach agreed by directors of the six local authorities Ceredigion, Carmarthen, Pembrokeshire, Neath Port Talbot, Powys and Swansea.”