Parents may already be aware of the change to the law relating to family holidays taken in term-time. 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.
To make 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.
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
Unfortunately the fact a holiday is cheaper during term time will not be considered as “special” or “exceptional” circumstances.
Ultimately, however, it is for the Headteacher to decide if the circumstances are “special” or “exceptional”. Each request for leave of absence will be considered by the Headteacher on an individual basis.
In deciding whether or not to approve a request, as well as considering the circumstances surrounding the request, the Headteacher is also likely to take into account:
- the age of the child
- the time of the year proposed for the holiday
- the overall attendance pattern of the child and
- the child’s stage of education and progress.
Click here to view the Absence Form.