Every school day counts towards your child’s future. Days off school add up to lost learning.

In total there are 175 non-school days a year. This gives families the opportunity to spend time together, visit family, go on holidays and days out and attend routine appointments. 

The law says that parents do not have the right to take their child out of school for holidays during term time and can only request leave of absence due to exceptional circumstances. If you take your child on holiday during term-time without the schools authorisation this will be recorded as unauthorised absence and could result in action being taken against parents or carers.

Why shouldn’t I take my child on holiday during term time?

Holidaying during term time has a negative effect on a child’s attendance, their learning and their ability to achieve. If your child goes on holiday during term time, their attendance could drop to any of the below:

  • 10 days absence = 95% attendance
  • 19 days absence = 90% attendance
  • 29 days absence = 85% attendance
  • 38 days absence = 80% attendance
  • 47 days absence = 75% attendance

Evidence suggests children with over 90% attendance are more likely to gain 5 or more A-C GCSE's or equivalent qualifications.

How do I request leave of absence?

All requests should be made on a Request for Leave of Absence which is available from your child’s school. You should also submit any evidence to support your request. This should be submitted no later than 21 days before the start of the absence.

Will the school authorise taking my child away during term-time?

The legislation for authorising absence in term time states that holidays will not be authorised and leave of absence requests will only be granted for exceptional circumstances. The Headteacher will consider and respond to your request. It’s up to the head teacher how many days your child can be away from school if leave is granted.

 What happens if the head teacher does not agree my request?

  • Your child’s absence will be marked as not authorised absence and you will be informed of this
  • If you proceed to take your child out of school, the Headteacher could request for the Local Authority to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice
  • The penalty is £60 per parent/carer (per pupil) and if not paid within 21 days this will increase to £120, failure to pay the full amount within 28 days could result in a summons to appear in the Magistrates Court on the grounds that you have failed to ensure your child’s regular attendance at school


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Last updated: 11 April 2024 12:20:53

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