Holidays during term time

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
  • go on family visits
  • go on holiday
  • go on days out
  • 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 except in exceptional circumstances. If you take your child on holiday during term-time without the schools authorisation this will be recorded as unauthorised absence and may result in parents being issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.

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

Many parents and carers think it is okay to go on holiday during term time, this has a negative effect on their children’s learning and ability to achieve. If your child goes on holiday during term time, they are absent:

  • 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

Children with over 90 per cent attendance are more likely to gain five or more A-C GCSE's or equivalent qualifications.

How do I request leave of absence for a family holiday?

All requests should be made on an Application for Leave of Absence for Annual Holiday which is available from your child’s school. You should also submit any evidence to support your exceptional circumstances (see below). This should be submitted no later than 21 days before the start of the holiday.

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

 The Legislation for authorising absence in term time states that holiday’s will not be authorised ‘except in exceptional circumstances.  The headteacher will consider your request and respond to your request.

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

  • your child’s absence will be marked as unauthorised absence and you will be informed of this
  • if you take your child on holiday your child’s school may request the Local Authority issue a Fixed Penalty Notice.
  • the Penalty is £60 per parent per pupil and if not paid within 21 days this will increase to £120, failure to pay the full amount within 28 days will 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


More information


Last updated: 24 August 2018 16:37:53