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Gove rumoured to be banning school holiday’s in term time

Education Secretary Michael Gove is set to axe the power of head teachers to allow families to take holidays in term time.

Education Secretary Michael Gove is set to axe the power of head teachers to allow families to take holidays in term time.

Charlie Taylor, the schools' adviser, teacher and behaviour expert brought in after last year's riots, has convinced Mr Gove that a hard-line must be taken.

Mr Taylor has been given a brief to urgently address increasing truancy rates, which are portrayed by the Government as creating an underclass and contributing to rising prison and young offender numbers. As part of his review he has pointed to the discretionary holidays regime in schools as an abuse of a power supposed to cover only illness or bereavement.

In the new move headteachers will lose the ability to sanction up to two weeks a year of "authorised absence" during term time. The discretionary absence is intended to cover illness, bad weather and bereavements, but many heads come under pressure to grant it so that children can be taken on holidays at times when it is cheaper. It will also be accompanied by tougher fines for parents of children who regularly play truant.

Figures released last year show truancy rates in England and Wales at record levels, with 64,000 pupils missing school on any one day in the first term of the 2010/11 schools year. It is thought that 4.5 million days of schooling are missed by pupils going on holidays, which are often significantly more expensive during school breaks.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: "This is a leak and we are not commenting on a leak."

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