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Absence Advice

Dear Parents

As you will be aware the Government have made changes to authorised absences during term time holidays with effect from September 2013.

Amendments have been made to the 2006 regulations in the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013. These amendments, as described below, came into force on 1 September 2013.

Term-time holiday The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 currently allow Headteachers to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday during term time in “special circumstances” of up to ten school days leave per year.

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 Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

A request for leave of absence could be considered exceptional in the following circumstance; 

  • For service personnel and other employees who are prevented from taking leave of absence outside term time at any point in the academic year; 
  • The terminal illness or bereavement of a parent of sibling if the absence is concurrent. There may be other circumstances when a parent may request an absence for their child, which may involve some time away from home. Examples of these include: 
  • The wedding of a family member 
  • Family bereavement 
  • Prison visits 
  • In some cultures specific religious occasions are very important (for example a child’s first communion) and the family may want to return to their country of origin to celebrate this with family

I would strongly recommend that you try not to take holidays in term time. However, If you do wish to take your child out of school then leave of absence forms will still need to be completed and a brief reason given for the holiday well in advance of the holiday date. These can be collected from the school office. If you have any questions about the policy or are unclear about it in anyway do please come and discuss it further.

If the absence has not been authorised by the school and an absence occurs, where the child’s total unauthorised absences amounts to 10 or more sessions (5 school days), continuous or aggregated within the previous six months within the current academic year (including the most recent unauthorised absence), we will have to notify the Education Welfare Service who might then issue a penalty notice and fine.

We strongly urge you before planning to take a holiday in term time, to think seriously about its impact on your children and their education. Children thrive on routine and hate not finishing things or having to catch up with a project half way through. We know that many of you have complied with this new government initiative and thank you for your continued support.


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