Application for term time leave of absence due to exceptional circumstances
The 2013 amendment to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (2006) Regulation stipulates that:
“Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances”
Headteachers may, in exceptional circumstances, grant leave of absence in a school year in accordance with the Academy policy but parents should not expect such leave to be granted as of right.
Indeed, following clarification from the Government recently it is likely that in most cases headteachers will be unable to authorise leave. I would ask you to consider the following:
- Parents/carers do not have a legal entitlement to remove their children from school for family holidays and they cannot themselves authorise absence
- Each application is considered individually taking into consideration the age of the child, the nature of the exceptional circumstance, the child’s attendance record, any school activities that occur during the proposed period of absence (e.g. examinations) and that parents have given at least 2 weeks’ notice
- If the school does not agree to the absence and the parent still takes the child out of school the absence must, by law, be regarded as unauthorised
- If the absence is authorised and the child is absent for longer than the agreed time, the extra absence will be recorded as unauthorised
- A child who fails to return to the Academy within 10 days of the agreed return date may lose their place at the Academy unless there is a good reason for the continued absence
Absence from school during term time can seriously disrupt a child’s education on a day-to-day basis and students are less prepared for lessons that build on the work they have missed.
Your child may well be expected to attend intervention sessions at the end of the Academy day (“period 6”) in order to catch up all of the work missed if this is felt necessary by staff at the Academy.
With the implementation of the Anti Social Behaviour Act (2003) the Local Authority has statutory powers to use Penalty Notices to help tackle irregular school attendance and unauthorised absences. An unauthorised absence is any absence that the Academy has not given permission for or the parent/carer has been unable to provide a reason which is acceptable to the Academy.
The Academy will discuss with the Local Authority any cases of unauthorised absence and whether the issuing of a Penalty Notice would be appropriate. A Penalty Notice is an alternative to a prosecution to the offence and can be issued when it is felt that parents/carers are failing in their legal responsibility to ensure their child attends school regularly. The penalty is in the form of a £60 fine per parent/carer per child payable within 21 days, this increases to £120 per parent/carer per child if paid within 28 days. Failure to pay usually results in prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court.
If you would like to proceed with your application please complete the form below as soon as possible and no less that two full weeks prior to the proposed absence. We will advise you as soon as we can of the outcome of your application.
Mr Mark Eastwood
Head of School