Authorisation of Absence Regulations

May 2014

In order to keep you all fully informed, the Governors would like to issue the current regulations regarding the authorisation of leave of absence during term time.

Explaining Leave of Absence.

The directive of the government is very clear that schools are no longer allowed to grant leave for absence for holidays in term time. Whilst we understand that it is often more convenient or cheaper for families to take holiday in term time, schools are no longer able to authorise this. Parents have a duty to ensure that their child attends school every day, and schools have a duty to enforce this.  Attendance is closely monitored through OFSTED for the government and this is one of the criteria by which schools are judged.

Regulations that came into force in 2013 make it clear that head teachers must 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. Parents who take their children on holiday without the authorisation of the school can referral to the Educational Welfare Service and a possible fine.  This is in line with policy in all schools.

What is an Exceptional Circumstance?

It is up to the Headteacher to make a decision on each individual application, and it is difficult to define exceptional circumstances. However, examples of exceptional circumstances might be:

  • to attend a one-off important family occasion, such as a funeral or wedding
  • for education off-site, when it is judged that the value of the educational experience outweighs the education that would be provided at school
  • in an individual family emergency

We are not able to grant leave of absence simply because a holiday is cheaper in term-time, or more convenient work-wise.

To ensure that we comply with these regulations, parents requesting leave of absence will need to detail the exceptional circumstances on our leave of absence request form in order that these can be assessed. You will find a copy of our request form attached. Absence cannot be granted if attendance is below 94%.

If you have any queries or questions please do make an appointment to come and discuss your particular request with Mrs Preston. As always, as a school we are committed to working with you to ensure the best for our children and in keeping you fully informed.