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Holidays in Term Time

The law regarding term-time leave for pupils has changed. The amendments remove references to family holidays and extended leave as well as the threshold of 10 school days.

No parent/carer can demand leave of absence as of right. The Education regulations state that applications for leave must be made in advance by a parent/carer with whom the child lives and can only be authorized by the school in exceptional circumstances. Each application is considered individually by the school.

The following are examples of the criteria for leave of absence, which may be considered as ‘exceptional’:

  • Service personnel returning from active deployment
  • Where inflexibility of the parents’ leave or working arrangement is part of the organisational or company policy. This would need to be evidenced by the production or confirmation from the organisation/company
  • Where leave is recommended as part of a parents’ or child’s rehabilitation from medical or emotional problems. Evidence must be provided
  • When a family needs to spend time together to support each other during or after a crisis

Please note: Head teachers would not be expected to class any term time holiday as exceptional.

This is not an exhaustive list and Head teachers must consider the individual circumstances of each case when making a decision on this matter. 

The decision of the Head teacher is final. Parents who take a child on leave in term time without the permission of the school risk being issued with a penalty notice fine for unauthorized absences.

Taking a pupil on leave during term time interrupts teaching and learning and can disrupt educational progress. Before completing this application form parent/carers are asked to consider the effect on their child’s continuity of education.



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