Absence from school during term-time
It is important that parents and carers are aware that they are not legally entitled to take their children out of school for the purposes of a family holiday during term time. This has been the case since September 2013 when amendments were made to the School Attendance regulations 2006. These removed references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days.
The amendments make clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
The latest documentation from the Department for Education (May 2022) states that:
- Only exceptional circumstances warrant a leave of absence.
- Schools should consider each application individually taking into account the specific facts and circumstances and relevant background context behind the request.
- If a leave of absence is granted, it is for the headteacher to determine the length of the time the pupil can be away from school.
- As headteachers should only grant leaves of absence in exceptional circumstances it is unlikely a leave of absence will be granted for the purposes of a family holiday.
Parents can be fined for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school. Taking a holiday during term time means that children miss important school time - both educationally and for other school activities. Before completing this application parents/carers are asked to consider the effect on their child’s education.
If permission is not granted and your child(ren) do not attend school during the dates you requested, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and a request to issue you with a penalty notice will be made. A penalty notice of £60 is payable within the first 21 days and rises to £120 thereafter. The Local Authority will take legal action if the penalty notice is not paid within 28 days of date of issue. Legal action may result in a fine of up to £1,000 and a criminal record for each parent/carer.
If permission is granted and your child(ren) do not return to school on the agreed date, further absences will not be authorised. You may also be issued with a penalty notice. A penalty notice of £60 is payable within the first 21 days and rises to £120 thereafter. The Local Authority will take legal action if the penalty notice is not paid within 28 days of date of issue. Legal action may result in a fine of up to £1,000 and a criminal record for each parent.
It is important to note that any monies collected by the local authority through fixed penalty notices are not retained by the school.
If you would like to discuss this further, please contact the school office in the first instance.
To download the application form for pupil leave of absence from school during term, click on the links below:
Leave of Absence From School (word version)
Leave of Absence from School (pdf version)