Termly reminders about taking a leave of absence during term time.....
REMINDERS ABOUT LEAVE OF ABSENCE DURING TERM TIME
We ask all parents to be mindful that taking a pupil on leave during term time interrupts teaching and learning and will disrupt a child’s educational progress.
The Government issued new regulations in September 2013 regarding Leave of Absence (The Education (Pupil Regulations) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended by Education (Pupil Regulations) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013.)
• Any application for leave must establish that there are ‘exceptional circumstances’ in relation to the application and this will be at the discretion of the Head Teacher.
• The Head Teacher will determine how many school days a child may be absent from school if the leave is granted.
• Parents have no entitlement to take their child on holiday during term time.
• If an absence is unauthorised, school will not provide the child with work to complete.
• Applications for Leave of Absence must be made in advance and failure to do so will result in the absence being unauthorised.
• The school can only consider applications for Leave of Absence which are made by the resident parent.
• Applications for Leave of Absence which are made in advance and are refused will result in the absence being unauthorised which may result in legal action against the parent, by a Fixed Penalty Notice- per parent, per child. if the child is absent from school during that period.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE PROCEDURES
Parent/carers must follow school procedures when requesting leave of absence for their child:
• Requests should be made at least 4 school weeks in advance of the proposed absence, by completing a ‘Leave of Absence’ request form, explaining why the leave is essential and the reasons why it needs to take place during term time. This form is available from the Attendance Support Worker in the school office. This can also be found on the school website. If school is aware of any language difficulties that may preclude a request form being completed appropriate support will be offered to the parent/carer.
• If the leave of absence is for a holiday, school will require supporting documentation e.g. written travel documentation and accommodation details before a ‘leave of absence’ request can be considered. Please note that parents/carers do not have an entitlement to take their child on holiday during term time.
• Once the decision has been made by the school, it cannot be reversed and there is no appeals procedure. The Head Teacher’s decision is final.
• You will receive written confirmation confirming whether the leave of absence request has been granted and therefore marked as authorised absence or whether the leave of absence request has been declined and therefore any absence linked to this will be unauthorised.
• If a parent believes that the reason for their child’s unauthorised leave of absence from school in term time was not properly understood and that it should have been considered as exceptional by the head teacher then the parent/carer should contact the school to discuss the matter.
• If parents/carers take their children on any unauthorised holiday, or unauthorised leave, school reserves the right to refuse to authorise any further absences for the remainder of the year without medical evidence and the pupil’s attendance will be subject to additional monitoring.
IF NO LEAVE OF ABSENCE IS FILLED IN.
If we believe you are on holiday and you have not filled in a leave of absence, home visits and our normal attendance procedures of communicating with you daily will take place. School will request a Penalty Notice be issued if we believe you are on holiday.
WHAT ARE EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES?
Exceptional circumstances are defined as being unique and significant emotional, educational or spiritual value to the child which outweighs the loss of teaching time.
Examples of leave of absence requests which DO NOT count as exceptional circumstances (this is not an exhaustive list):
• Availability of cheaper holidays
• Availability of desired accommodation
• Poor weather experienced in school holidays
• Overlap with beginning or end of term
• Booked the wrong dates by mistake or without checking
• Booked by another family member
• Attending a family wedding
• Family birthdays
• Availability of time off work
• Day trips
• Holidays taken without following school procedure
• Family time
WHAT IS THE FIXED PENATLY NOTICE?
Penalty notices are issued per parent per child. They are £60 if paid within 21 days rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but before 28 days. If the penalty notice remains unpaid then the Local Authority may instigate legal proceedings against you under section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996. If found guilty of this offence you could be fined up to £1000.
I hope this clarifies school's approach to term time leave of absence / holidays for you. As always, I am very happy to discuss this with you if you wish. Thank you.