Isle of Wight parents are being warned that the rules on taking holidays during term time are being beefed up by the government.

Current rules in England allow headteachers to grant up to ten school days of leave per year for a family holiday during term time, in special circumstances.

However, the Department for Education is now changing regulations. From 1 September 2013, headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

It will also be down to headteachers to decide the number of school days a child can be away from school, if leave is granted.

Councillor Richard Priest, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, told IW Radio that parents should make themselves familiar with the new rules:

The intiative clearly puts responsibility on parents, but it also affects schools because teachers at schools are also parents, so they’ve got a whole range of issues that they’re dealing with as well. So we’re very mindful of that and all the factors that parents are dealing with. All I can say to reassure parents is, please talk to your headteacher before the end of term to have that reassurance.

Meanwhile, fines for parents who fail to ensure their children’s regular attendance at school will also have to be paid more quickly.

Previously, parents had to pay £60 within 28 days, or £120 within 42 days. From September 2013, they must pay £60 within 21 days, or £120 within 28 days.