Leave of Absence Effecting Term Time Holidays
From September 2013, the DfE (Department of Education) made an amendment to the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006 which has made it clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time for family holidays.
Leave of absence may only be granted in exceptional circumstances. So that there is consistency across our local area, all seventeen Horsham East Locality Schools have agreed that the definition of ‘exceptional circumstances’ include:
- the funeral of an immediate relative
- religious observation on days officially set apart by the religious body to which the parents belong
- compassionate leave
- close family wedding
- medical appointments which cannot be arranged outside the school day
- music/dance exams
- sporting activity
- educational/interview visits to other schools
All requests will need to be made with a copy of the booking forms, details of the music exams etc attached to the Request Form.
Genuine illness will, of course, be authorised although the school reserves the right to ask for confirmation from a medical professional in exceptional cases.
Holiday or other unacceptable reasons for absence will be classed as unauthorised. The consequence of a child’s level of unauthorised absence building up to a minimum of 10 half-day sessions in a ten school week period, is that the Headteacher is required to inform the Local Authority who will issue a Fixed Penalty Notice and fine.
We have attached a WSCC brief guide document on Fixed Penalty Notices for your information. We appreciate that this will be unwelcome news for many parents, but as we are sure you will realise, the school is subject to Government regulations. We have acted as quickly as possible to notify you of this change. If you wish to do more reading about these regulations they can be found at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/756
Our present system of handing a ‘Request for absence from learning’ form to the office at least one week in advance of the requested absence will continue but we will now follow the procedures outlined above.