Holidays in Term Time
The Department for Education expects schools and local authorities to promote good attendance and reduce absences, including persistent absence. This is because we know that missing out on lessons leaves children/young people vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary schools.
As a school we work incredibly hard to support all children and their families so as to ensure that all children have good attendance. Children attend extremely well at Brockwell Infant School and with the support of parents, our attendance figures for all groups is above the national average – thank you.
Amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 which came into force on 1st September 2013 made it clear that Headteachers should not grant approval for any leave of absence during term-time, including holidays, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Our Attendance Policy and national guidance clearly states that holidays should be taken within school holidays and parents should avoid seeking to take children out of school during term time.
Head Teachers may not grant any leave of absence for holidays during the term time unless there are exceptional circumstances; in these cases it is the Head Teacher who determines the number of days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.
For the school to comply with the law, we are unable to approve requests for leave of absence for reasons that are not considered to be special or exceptional.
Some examples of any exceptional circumstances where leave may be granted during term time are as follows:
- If a parent is service personnel and is returning from a tour of duty abroad where it is evidenced the individual will not be in receipt of any leave in the near future that coincides with school holidays.
- Where an absence from school is recommended by a health professional as part of a parent or child’s rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issue.
- The death or terminal illness of a close relative, only if Headteacher is satisfied that the circumstances are truly exceptional.
- Out of school programmes such as music, arts or sport operating at a high standard of achievement. Documentary evidence of this event will be required.
- Religious observance – The Education Act 1996 S444(3) (c), states ‘’on any day exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which his/her parent belongs’’.
- To attend a wedding or funeral of a close relative if the Headteacher is satisfied that the circumstances are truly exceptional. Leave should only be authorised for this purpose when a Headteacher is satisfied that there is a persuasive reason for holding the wedding during term time and there is an onus on parents to show clear evidence that this absence is absolutely an exceptional circumstance. In difficult family situations the Headteacher may use his/her discretion in granting leave and each case should be addressed on its individual merits, taking into account the overall welfare of the child.
Where there are exceptional and unforeseen circumstances that fall outside of the above, the Headteacher agrees to consult with the governing body prior to any authorisation being given to the parent. Evidence would be required in each case.
Parents needing leave of absence for exceptional circumstances should complete a form at least two weeks before the anticipated start date. The reason for the request should be given in detail. Applications should be made before the leave is arranged as absences will not be granted retrospectively. The forms can be collected from the school office.
This is Government policy which schools are legally required to uphold. Parents who take their children on holiday without permission will incur unauthorised absences for their child. Parents could be issued with a fixed penalty notice and/or court action which is actioned by Derbyshire County Council, not school.
Please see the Derbyshire Council Good Attendance poster. Click here