Leave of Absence

Holidays during term time – a change in the law

From the 1st September 2013 there was a change in the law relating to children’s attendance at school.

Leave of Absence guidance for parents and carers – June 2014

Term Time Holiday

Details from the Department of Education are as follows:

  • The amendments make clear that headteacher may not grant any leave of absence during term time, except in very exceptional circumstances.  Holidays for reasons of convenience or price do NOT qualify. Exceptional circumstances are absences due to, for example, military movement, funerals, weddings and terminal illness or bereavement of a parent or sibling.
  • In exceptional circumstances, if leave is granted, the headteacher should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school.

Unauthorised pupil leave of absence

The Local Authority Local Code of Conduct in respect of Penalty Notices issued for truancy includes unauthorised pupil leave of absence in term time. If a pupil accumulates 10 or more sessions of unauthorised leave of absence within the previous 6 month period of a current academic year, the school must notify the Local Authority and a Penalty Notice will be issued to each parent for each child where that applies.

Important notice to all parents and carers

The Local Authority has amended its Local Code of Conduct in respect of Penalty Notices issued for truancy to include unauthorised pupil leave of absence in term time. If a pupil accumulates 10 or more sessions of unauthorised leave of absence within the previous 6 month period of a current academic year, the school must notify the Local Authority and a Penalty Notice will be issued to each parent for each child where that applies.

A penalty of £60 will apply if paid within 21 days or £120 up to 28 days. If after 28 days the penalty has not been paid, legal proceedings will be taken through the magistrates court for the unauthorised absence.


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