Holidays in Term Time

Holiday requests
Lots of people do raise the question of holidays in term time and what is the entitlement. The law is very clear on this matter and is therefore out of the hands of headteachers to give permission for annual holidays. Some parents believe that if children are 4 years old the same rules do not apply. However, any leave of absence for a holiday is treated in the same way for all children who have started school.
What does the law say?
As of 1 September 2013 there was a change in the ‘The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations’ 2006. There used to be an option for headteachers to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday during term time in ‘special circumstances’ of up to ten days in a year, this was removed.
Headteachers are now only allowed to authorise any leave of absence when an application has been made in advance, and it’s felt to be for an exceptional circumstance. The annual family holiday wouldn’t be deemed an exceptional circumstance.
Absence
As a school we consider attendance and punctuality to be fundamental for maximising achievement and obtaining the greatest benefit from education. If your child is absent from school, please inform the school by telephone, verbally or letter on each day of the absence. School is required to keep a record of the reasons for all child absence.
Exceptional Absence
The headteacher may authorise leave of absence in ‘exceptional circumstances’. Any requests should be completed on the Shropshire Council ‘Request for Pupil Leave of Absence in Term Time in Exceptional Circumstances’ form, which can be obtained from the school office, and returned to school well before the proposed absence. We have strict guidelines and criteria to refer to and holidays in term time cannot be authorised.
If this requested period of absence has not been authorised, details will be passed to Shropshire Council’s Education Access Service. The Council may, in the following circumstances, issue a formal warning, serve a Fixed Penalty Notice or take court action in respect of non-school attendance for this and any future unauthorised absence:
• Parents have not sought permission from the headteacher before taking their child out of school for a holiday in term time
• The headteacher has refused the request but the absence occurs anyway; or
• A pupil has not returned to school by the agreed date with no satisfactory explanation