Circumstances for Absence

Holidays In Term Time

Taking holidays in term time will affect a child’s schooling as much as any other absence and we expect parents to help us by not taking children away in school time. There is no automatic entitlement in law to time off in school time to go on holiday. Amendments to the 2006 regulations make clear that the Executive Headteacher may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The Executive Headteacher should also determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.

Guidance on Penalty Notices issues for Holidays in Term Time

Guidance to Penalty Notices

Leave of absence in exceptional circumstances include but are not exclusive to:

The Headteacher or Executive Headteacher may only grant leave of absence for exceptional circumstances.

Examples of any exceptional circumstances where leave may be granted during term time are as follows:

  • If a parent is service personnel and is returning from a tour of duty abroad where it is evidenced the individual will not be in receipt of any leave in the near future that coincides with school holidays.
  • Where an absence from school is recommended by a health professional as part of a parent or child’s rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issue.
  • The death or terminal illness of a close relative, only if Headteacher is satisfied that the circumstances are truly exceptional;
  • Out of school programmes such as music, arts or sport operating at a high standard of achievement. Documentary evidence of this event will be required. 
  • Religious observance – The Education Act 1996 S444(3) (c), states ‘’on any day exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which his/her parent belongs’’;
  • To attend a wedding or funeral of a close relative  if the Executive Headteacher is satisfied that the circumstances are truly exceptional.

Where there are exceptional and unforeseen circumstances that fall outside of the above, the Executive Headteacher agrees to consult with the governing body prior to any authorisation being given to the parent. Evidence would be required in each case.

If a request meets the above exceptional circumstances but falls within the following times, the Executive Headteacher must be convinced that absence from school is the only option:

1) The first half term of any academic year (applies to all pupils).

2) Falls within an assessment period (i.e Mocks or GCSE/BTEC exams)

Examples of circumstances NOT considered as exceptional

  • Holidays abroad for the purpose of visiting a sick relative, excepting where that person is seriously ill. Medical evidence may be requested.
  • Holidays taken in term time due to lower cost/parental work commitments.
  • Day trips to educations and/or entertainment providers e.g. theme parks, museums