children running into the sea

Information for Parents

If you are thinking of taking your children on holiday during term time you need to know that:

·         A pupil’s absence can seriously disrupt the continuity of their learning. Not only do they miss the teaching provided on the days they are away; they are also less prepared for lessons upon their return. There is a consequent risk of under achievement, which you and we must seek to avoid.

·         Many parents say that the time their child misses because of a holiday doesn’t affect their school work. However a child who has 10 days holiday each year of their school life will miss 24 weeks (nearly a full school year) of their formal education. This is in addition to unavoidable absences – for instance, if your child is ill.

·         Please do not ask for leave of absence for a family holiday in term time if you can possibly avoid it. If you do have to ask for permission to take your child out of school for a holiday:

-    Try to avoid periods when your child is preparing for or taking examinations or important tests.

-    Give at least two weeks notice of any planned absence.

·         Schools will consider every request individually. However, the most important consideration will be the effect that such an absence would have on your child’s education. Schools cannot and will not authorise absence for holidays in term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Please be advised that low cost travel or arrangements made by a family member or friends is not an exceptional circumstance.

Holidays taken in term time should be the exception rather than the rule.


Holidays in Term Time and Unauthorised Absence

Where children have unauthorised absences as a result of a family holiday in term time, legal action may be taken against each parent under the following legislation:

Section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996 provides that a parent commits an offence if his or her child, being of compulsory school age, fails to attend regularly the school at which he or she is a registered pupil. Section 444A allows for a penalty notice to be issued to parents who commit such an offence.

With effect from 1 September 2013 the penalty is £60 if paid within 21 days or £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. Failure to pay may result in prosecution where on conviction you would be liable to a fine of up to £1000.


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