Education ministers are considering plans to strip headteachers of their right to grant "authorised absence" to parents.

Children can take up to two weeks off during term time, but ministers are believed to fear this has created a culture of truancy being acceptable in some schools.

Brian Lightman of the Association of School and College Leaders said: "The discretionary 10 days has become a bit of a cultural expectation with parents viewing it as a right in some cases."

Children in the UK currently miss an estimated 4.5 million school days a year, with holidays the second most common reason ahead of illness, bad weather and bereavements.

Other methods the government may consider to reduce the negative impacts of high absenteeism identified in the Taylor Review include removing league table points or blocking academy applications from schools with high absence levels.

The Department for Education have so far declined to comment on the story which they say originally appeared in the Sunday Telegraph as a result of "a leak".

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Posted 20/02/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com