The law does not grant parents an automatic right to take their child out of school during term time. Any absence from school will disrupt your child’s learning. You may consider that a holiday will be educational but your child will still miss out on the teaching that their classmates receive. Children returning from a term time holiday are also unprepared for the lessons that build on the teaching that they have missed.
The Department for Education only allows a Headteacher discretion to consider an absence/holiday in term time in ‘special circumstances.’ Very few requests fall into this category. You should note that, on 6th April 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that previous good attendance cannot be used to justify term time absence. If your child’s absence is not considered to be due to ‘special circumstances’, or if you take your child out of school without asking permission to do so, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. Please be very clear that this is not about school rules; it is the law. Taking your child out of school for an unauthorised holiday is unlawful and could ultimately lead to a criminal record.
Every day away from school counts as two absences (morning and afternoon). Following 15 unauthorised absences within any two consecutive terms, the school has an obligation to inform the Local Authority of the absences. This could result in a Penalty Notice and/or prosecution through the Magistrates Court for failing to ensure regular school attendance of your child under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996.
Please complete and return the form below to request that your child's absence is authorised. Paper copies are available from the School Office.