The law does not grant parents an automatic right to take their child out of school during term time. The Department for Education allows a Head Teacher the discretion to consider authorising a leave of absence in term time only in “exceptional circumstances”.
Any absence from school will disrupt your child’s learning.
You may consider that a holiday will be educational but your child will still miss out on the teaching that their peers will receive whilst your child is away. Children returning from a leave of absence during term time are also unprepared for the lessons which build on the teaching they have missed. Teachers then have to give more time to help individual children catch up on missed work. This poses a potential risk of the under achievement for your child and other students in the class. This is something we all have a responsibility to avoid.
You need to request a leave of absence by completing the absence request form. If the holiday is not considered to be an exceptional circumstance, and you nevertheless take your child out of school for the leave of absence this will be recorded as unauthorised leave.
All unauthorised absences, including holidays that have not been sanctioned by the headteacher, are accumulated and parents who fail to ensure regular attendance of their children at school can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996. The amount is £60 (per parent per child) if paid within 21 days and £120 (per parent per child) if paid between 21 and 28 days. Failure to pay a Penalty Notice will result in prosecution, except in limited circumstances.
All requests must be made prior to the leave being taken. Leave cannot be authorised retrospectively.
In considering the decision whether to authorise, the following will be taken into account:-
- Reasons given for the holiday;
- Any holiday leave taken in previous academic years (authorised or unauthorised)
- Your child’s previous attendance record; this includes attendance in the current academic year - which should be over 95% - as well as attendance in previous academic years.
- Whether your child will miss any tests/examinations (or important preparation for their tests)
- Whether your child is making good progress.
I hope you will support our efforts to raise attendance and attainment at our school.