Leave of Absence

IMPORTANT GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION REGARDING LEAVE OF ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL DURING TERM TIME.

 

The Department of Education now requires schools to implement government amendments to the regulations regarding the taking of Leave of Absence in term-time, which came into force on the 1st September 2013.  The new law gives no entitlement to parents/carers to take their child on holiday during term time. 

Principals are not expected to class any term-time holiday as exceptional.  Therefore, the school will only be able to grant leave of absence in exceptional circumstances and this will still be at the discretion of the Principal.

No families can demand leave of absence as of right.  The Education regulations state that applications must be made in advance by a parent/carer with whom the child lives with and can only be authorised by the school in exceptional circumstances.  Each leave application is considered individually by the school taking into account any factors presented by the family.  An application form is attached.  We will also welcome early discussion with you around potential applications.

The following are examples of the criteria for leave of absence, which may be considered as ‘exceptional’: 

  • Service personnel returning form active deployment.
  •  Where inflexibility of the parents’ leave or working arrangements is part of the organisation or company policy. This would need to be evidenced by the production or confirmation from the organisation/company.
  •  Where leave is recommended as part of a parents/carers or child’s rehabilitation from medical or emotional problems. Evidence must be provided.
  •  Where a family needs to spend time together to support each other during or after a crisis.

This is not an exhaustive list and we must consider the individual circumstances of each case when making a decision on this matter.  Leave is only acceptable against exceptional circumstances and should not be granted on the bases of attendance record, academic performance or the ‘experience’ offered by being out of academy.

 Please note the ability to access a reduced cost of a holiday does not constitute an exceptional circumstances.

Where a child is taken out of school for the purpose of leave of absence in term-time without the permission of the school, the absence will be coded as unauthorised and as such may result in a Penalty Notice.  Penalties are applied by the Local Authority and as such are not at the discretion of the Principal.  If a Penalty Notice is not paid, the matter may be taken to prosecution in the Magistrates Court.

Amendments to 2007 Penalty Notice regulations will reduce the timescale for paying a penalty notice.  Parents must, from 1st September 2013, pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days.  This brings attendance penalty notices in line with other types of penalty notices and allows local authorities to act faster on prosecution if the fine is not paid.

Taking a student on leave during term-time interrupts teaching and learning and can disrupt your child’s educational progress.

Please click here to download a leave of absence request form.