Leave of Absence
New legislation passed in 2013 removes the right to schools to grant term time holidays. We encourage and believe that good attendance is critical for all children if they are to achieve and progress well and learn good habits for life.
It is important to note:-
- There is no legal right for a child to be granted leave of absence and taking a child out of school during term time could be detrimental to the child’s achievement, progress and / or social development/ friendships.
- Lost learning time cannot be replaced and when any potential exceptional leave is added to any possible illness/ medical absence, time away from learning could be considerable!
- Every request will be considered on its merits and must be for the minimum period possible
- In some circumstances the Headteacher may arrange a meeting to discuss the application or request further information.
The Governing Body take the view that all leave during term time should be discouraged and especially at the following times:
- During the first year at a new school (this includes Early Years pupils and those joining the school at other times.)
- At the beginning of the school year ( e.g. September)
- During or in the lead up to assessment ( SATS, phonics, teacher assessments etc.) April - June
- For children in Years 2 and 6 who are statutorily assessed
Absences from school will not be authorised for:
- Holidays (not agreed or requested after the event)
- Looking after family members
- Visiting relatives
- Holidays ‘accidentally’ booked by relatives
- Financial Reasons (Cheaper holidays during term time)
Procedure for requesting exceptional leave of absence
Applications for leave of absence for exceptional circumstances should be made in the first instance, on the Leave of Absence form (see school website or school office) accompanied by a letter clearly explaining the exceptional circumstance for the request to the Headteacher. Relevant supporting evidence may be included: no application for leave will be considered unless it is accompanied by a letter.
These requests are then passed to the Governing Body for consideration.
The Governing Body will consider leave for the following applications:
- Music festivals, examinations or recognised performances.
- Approved sporting activities.
- Recognised examinations (e.g. dance music or LAMDA).
- A visit to a new school if a pupil is changing school mid-year due to moving house.
- Family circumstances. Applications may be authorised for the following:
close family weddings (up to two days)
close family funerals (up to two days)
the graduation ceremony of a parent or sibling ( usually 1 day)
severe illness of a close family member
severe family crisis
service personnel ( e.g. likely to be deployed at short notice)
NB. Definition of close family is: mother, father, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother.
When considering exceptional leave requests the following will be taken into consideration
- The pupil’s age and year group
- The time and duration of the absence
- The pupil’s record of attendance - pupil attendance of 95% or below will lead to no authorisation being granted
- The pupil’s current levels of attainment and progress ( e.g. curriculum levels)
Holidays During Term Time
Leave of absence will not be granted for holidays during term time unless there are extremely exceptional circumstances
There is an expectation that any agreed exceptional leave is a “one off” event, not an annual or regular occurrence.
Any holidays taken during term time will be recorded as unauthorised absence. This will appear on the child’s end of year report. The case could be referred to the Education Welfare Service who may issue a Penalty Notice for £120 (or £60 if paid within 21 days) to each parent/carer for each child taken out of school.
Medical evidence will usually need to be provided for absences exceeding three days- e.g. doctors letter, appointment card, prescription or having sight of prescription medicines. ( Particularly where current attendance is around or below 95%)