The Department of Education is getting tough on parents who take their children on holiday during term- time.
A new policy means headteachers can only authorise absences in exceptional circumstances, such as a family bereavement.
The new rules have been introduced this term because a growing number of pupils are missing out on lessons by going away on holiday.
Previously headteachers could allow youngsters to take time off for up to ten days, but now parents could face court action if their children are absent from school without permission.
Staff at the Department of Education say pupils risk falling behind in class even if they only miss a couple of weeks. They say such absences could affect exam results and ultimately their futures.