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Leave of Absence

Requesting Leave of Absence

We are required by law to keep a full list of absences from school and to include the attendance record of each child on their annual school report.

If your child is absent from school for any reason telephone the School Office before 8.45am and if your child is off for more than one day confirm the absence in writing.

Holiday Leave Entitlement

The Government has introduced some significant changes to attendance regulations for pupils at school from September 1st 2013.

The most important of these is in relation to term-time family holidays. Below is a quotation directly from the Department for Education Circular:

‘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.’

I draw your attention particularly to the second sentence of this paragraph. This interpretation will have different parameters from one case to another, and whilst it will be important to look at the whole situation in making decisions about any individual request, the normality will be that requests will be refused.

CRITERIA FOR EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES

Examples of what might be considered as such are:

1. Where it is company/organisational policy for an employee to take leave at a specified time in the year and there is no opportunity for a family holiday in school holidays. This must be supported by documentary evidence from the organisation.

2. Service personnel returning from/scheduled to embark upon a tour of duty abroad.

3. Where a holiday is recommended as part of a parent or child’s rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issue. Evidence must be provided, from qualified professionals, such as a doctor.

4. Where it may be a unique/last opportunity to spend time with a relative.

Where there are other factors which the Headteacher may consider to be exceptional circumstances, this may be referred to the Local Authority for advice.

May is an important month in the school calendar for statutory/non statutory tests (SATs), on no account should children be taken out of school during the month of May.

There will be a new school attendance policy in order to reflect this new legislation.

May I therefore ask that you respect these new regulations under which we must now work, and that if you do need to take your child out of school during term time, you make very clear in your request how the circumstances are exceptional. If this is not clear then under the new legislation, I will not be allowed to grant leave.

New regulations, in which penalty fines for parents/carers taking children out of school in unauthorised circumstances, will now be imposed more strictly by the Local Authority. You should also be aware that the rates and the timings of penalty fines will also become much more stringent.