The role of the School
The school has a responsibility to monitor every pupil’s attendance and to report any half-day absences as either Authorised or Unauthorised.
Family Holidays and Other Absences
Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, which came into force on 1st September 2013 state that 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.
The Governors have agreed the following ‘exceptional circumstances’ which may be authorised by the Head teacher:
Types of holidays that MAY be granted due to exceptional circumstances:
- One or both parents in the armed forces and leave granted prior to deployment.
- ‘Factory fortnight’ holidays – immovable holidays due to business rotas etc (such requests should be accompanied by a letter from the employer)
- Terminally ill close relative i.e. parent, sibling, grandparent. Family wish to have a final holiday together.
- Family/carer funeral (1 day maximum)
- Weddings (immediate family only, 1 day maximum)
- Religious festivals
- Visits to the child’s/children’s or parents’ country of origin
- Pupils with certain conditions may find holiday destinations impossible to manage during busy times and this may cause the families undue anxiety having a detrimental effect on their health and well-being.
- Leave of absence will NOT be granted for reasons that are NOT considered to be special or exceptional. These include:
- Availability of cheap holidays and cheap travel arrangements
- Days overlapping with beginning or end of term
- Family weddings longer than one day
- Visiting relatives living in different parts of the country or overseas
- Holiday’s won in competitions
Parents needing leave of absence for exceptional circumstances should complete a form available from the school office at least two weeks before the anticipated start date. The reason for the request should be given in detail and be accompanied by a letter from the employer stating that holidays are only allowed during this period. Applications should be made before the leave is arranged as absences will not be granted retrospectively.
The Headteacher may ask parents to provide more detail about the exceptional circumstances to aid their decision making.
Parents who take their children on holiday without permission will incur an unauthorised absence for their child. These remain on the child’s record and will be monitored for further action by the Education Welfare Service.
The local authority will issue a fixed penalty notice from January 2014. The penalty is £60 if paid within 28 days of receipt rising to £120 if paid after 28 days but within 42 days. The payment must be paid direct to the local authority. The parents can only be prosecuted if 42 days have expired and full payment has not been made. Penalty notices can be issued to each parent liable for the attendance offence or offences.
There is no right of appeal by parents against a penalty notice. If the penalty is not paid in full by the end of the 42 day period the local authority must decide either to prosecute for the original offence to which the notice applies or withdraw the notice.