Holiday requests or entitlement/exceptional circumstances

Under section 7 of the education Act 1996, there is no entitlement for you to take your child on holiday during term time.  You may be fined for taking your child on holiday during term time without consent of the school.  An absence should be considered carefully and avoided if possible. Absence during term time will disrupt a students learning and progress.   Pupils are expected to attend every session available to them throughout the school year. 

A notice in writing must be made to the Assistant Head Teacher by parents informing of the intended absence and detailing the exceptional circumstances.  Exceptional  circumstances are defined as "rare, significant, unavoidable and short".  The Assistant Head Teacher will consider the circumstances for absence and confirm in writing whether the absence will be marked authorised or unauthorised on the student’s attendance record. Each request will be judged on a case by case basis. If an event can be reasonably scheduled outside of term-time then it would not be normal to authorise absence for such an event – holidays are therefore not considered ‘exceptional circumstances’. 

Should the absence be unauthorised and you choose to take the unauthorised leave from the school, then the case may be referred to the Education Welfare Service (EWS).  They may choose to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice to you. 

A £60 penalty notice may be issued by the EWS to each parent or carer for each child, to be paid within 21 days.  If this is not paid within the 21-day period, it will increase to £120. If this is not paid within 28 days, parents or carer’s will be prosecuted in the magistrates’ court for failing to ensure their children attend school regularly. This could result in each parent or carer receiving a fine of up to £2,500 and / or three months imprisonment for failing to ensure your child regularly attends school.

Holidays that are either taken in the first 2 weeks of September or carry over from the summer break into the returning first week of term, will be referred to the Local Authority.  They may decide to issue a Penalty Notice to parents/carers of that child.

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