Ofsted Outstanding

Absence Requests

We take pride in working closely with our parents, helping children consistently access school on a daily basis. Attendance at Avonwood Primary School continues to be impressive, but we very much rely on parents working with us to maintain this. 

In May 2022, the Government further strengthened their stance on school absence. A report and associated articles detailing this can be found here.

You will be aware that the law makes it clear that parents must avoid taking holidays in term time because absence from school can seriously impact on a child’s learning.  Whilst there may be occasions when a child is unable to attend school (e.g. illness), all other absences should therefore be kept to a minimum and if possible avoided.

We ask all parents to work with us to make sure holidays always sit within traditional school holiday breaks. If you do need to request a request for a holiday during term time, you must get permission from the Headteacher. You can only do this if:

  • You write to the Headteacher in advance (as a parent the child normally lives with).
  • There are exceptional circumstances (details below).

Please note, should your absence request be declined you will recieve a standard response letter detailing the decision and the potential of a penalty notice fine if the holiday goes ahead. These fines are applly in all cases where the threshold for unauthorised absence has been met and there are no exceptional circumstances. The fine will be £60 per parent, per child. So for a family of 4, with two children over the age of 5, the fine for holiday hitting the unauthorised absence threshold will be £240. These fines are managed by BCP Council, the funds from these fines do not go to the school. More details can be found on the BCP website here.

Should parents ignore advice and go ahead with a term time holiday, no work will be provided during this time.

What are “special” and "exceptional” circumstances?

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

  • Service personnel returning from active deployment
  • Where inflexibility of the parents’ leave or working arrangement is part of the organisational 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’ or child’s rehabilitation from medical or emotional problems, evidence must be provided. 
  • When a family needs to spend time together to support each other during or after a crisis.

The fact a holiday is cheaper during term time is not considered as exceptional circumstances. 

Each request for leave of absence will be considered by the Headteacher on an individual basis. 

We strongly recommend talking to us before ever booking term time holiday, to avoid any unnecessary costs (e.g. penalty fines) or unexpected impact on education (e.g. missing trips, visits or examinations).

Click here to view the Absence Form.

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