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School absence problem revealed

The extent of the problem which led to a tightening of rules for children taking holidays during term-time has been revealed by the Department of Education.

Fifteen thousand school days were lost to family vacations during the last academic year.

For many years, the rules have said that under 'exceptional circumstances' parents can ask to take their children out of the classroom for up to 10 days in each academic year.

In many cases that will no longer be possible, but department spokesman John Gill says it's by no means a total ban (audio file attached):

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