Term time leave of absence (including term-time holidays)
Amendments came into force in September 2013 and the Education (Pupil Registration)(England) Regulations 2006 now state that Headteacher’s may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
There is a common misconception that any child is allowed to take 10 days holiday per year. This is not true. The government strongly urges parents/carers to avoid taking their children out of school for family holidays as this will disrupt their education. If you do not ask permission in advance, or you are not given permission and you take your child out of school anyway, this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.
The Headteacher may authorise an absence from school during term time if there are exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances may include;
- the death or terminal illness of a person in the immediate family
- service personnel and other employees who cannot take leave outside term time at any point in the academic year.
If your child is absent from school without advance permission (except where he or she is unwell), you can be fined or even prosecuted, this could involve a fixed penalty notice of £60 within 21 days, or £120 within 28 days. Failure to pay can result in prosecution in the Magistrates Court.
Missing two weeks of school for a holiday might not seem like very much, but it can have a big impact on your child’s education.
For example, if your child misses two weeks of school every year, this adds up to more than two terms over the child’s whole time in school.