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Holiday during term time

Parents should not normally take their children on holiday in term time.There is no legal right to do so.

Leave of Absence

In line with the Government’s amendments to the 2006 regulations (appendix 1), holidays during term time will NOT be authorised unless there are stated exceptional circumstances.

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006

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 did 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. Headteachers could also grant extended leave for more than ten school days in exceptional circumstances.

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. Headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.

The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2007Amendments have been made to the 2007 Regulations in the Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013. These amendments, as described below, came into force on 1 September 2013.

The 2007 regulations set out the procedures for issuing penalty notices (fines) to each parent who fails to ensure their children’s regular attendance at school or fails to ensure that their excluded child is not in a public place during the first five days of exclusion.

Amendments to 2007 regulations will reduce the timescales for paying a penalty notice. Parents must, from 1 September 2013, pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. This brings attendance penalty notices into line with other types of penalty notices and allows local authorities to act faster on prosecutions.

 In line with government guidelines, Essex County Council has carried out its annual review of the ‘penalty notice code of conduct’ and as from 1st September 2015, all penalty notices will be issued on the basis of 10 unauthorised absences within a six week period. This will include absences that are taken where a family chooses to go on holiday or take unauthorised leave for 5 or more days (10 or more sessions).

This new code took effect from 1st September 2015, please note that any holiday which is applied for after 30th June 2015, where the leave is to be taken after the 1st September 2015, will be subject to the revised Essex Code of Conduct which is available on the Essex County Council website

If a holiday is not authorised, and is taken without permission, the Education Welfare Service may issue a penalty notice to each parent, requiring them to pay a fine of £60.00 for each child to be paid within 21 days. If the penalty is not paid within the time scale the penalty will increase to £120.00. If the higher penalty is not paid within 28 days, the Education Welfare Service will then institute legal proceedings in the magistrate’s court under Section 444 of the  Education Act 1996 for failing to ensure regular attendance at school.

APPLYING FOR ‘LEAVE OF ABSENCE’

In order to apply to the school for leave of absence all requests for leave must be made at least four weeks in advance where possible. The application form for leave of absence is available from the school office. Under amendments to the 2006 Education Regulations, Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Each case will be examined individually but even where there are exceptional circumstances it is unlikely that any leave of absence will be authorised if

a) a child’s absence has fallen below 90% in the preceding 12 weeks

b) it is during the first two weeks of September

c) it is during the school’s published assessment periods

If one of the above applies and leave is not granted but is taken anyway, it is likely that the school will initiate procedures for issuing a penalty notice (pay £60 within 21 days or £120 if paid in more than 21 days but less than 28 days).

If parents wish to request an absence from school due to exceptional circumstances then they are asked to make an appointment to explain the reason for the request. Written evidence to support the exceptional circumstances may be required. The school will make clear in writing to the parent/carer whether the absence will be recorded as authorised or unauthorised. All requests for leave must be made at least four weeks in advance where possible.

Please refer to our Attendance Policy for further information. Updated September 2015

Please refer to our Term Dates page for half term dates. Updated September 2015 for 2015/2016 Academic Year