School Attendance – Info for Parents

Requests for absences in term time

The Department for Education has recently made amendments to school attendance regulations, the most important of which relates to term time family holidays :

Amendments to the 2006 regulations remove references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments make clear that Head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Clearly there are certain situations which may constitute exceptional circumstances, for example:

  • Parents are Forces personnel and time off is requested before or after a posting
  • Parental employment restrictions evidence from the employer would be needed
  • Other significant events

As a general rule an exceptional circumstance must outweigh the loss of teaching time. Thus the following would not meet the criteria unless there are additional circumstances:

  • Relatives coming to visit
  • Cheaper holidays
  • Family day trips visiting family who have different holidays

In making a decision the school will also take account of :

  • The age of the student
  • The time of year
  • The overall attendance pattern of the student
  • The student’s stage of education and progress to date

In addition to this new legislation there are also new regulations regarding penalty fines for parents and carers taking children out of school in un- authorised circumstances. These could now be imposed more strictly by the Local Authority/school and the rates and timings of imposition of penalty fines have become much more stringent.

The School’s Attendance policy has been updated to reflect these changes and is operable with immediate effect.

We therefore ask you to respect these new regulations, under which we must now all work, and that if you do need to take your child out of school during term time, you must make very clear in your request how the circumstances are exceptional.