LEAVE OF ABSENCE DURING TERM TIME – INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013, govern all requests for leave within term-time. When considering such requests for a leave of absence, the school are obliged to act within the law.
The amended regulations removed references to ‘holiday’ and ‘extended leave’, as well as the statutory threshold of 10 school days. It is now clear that Head Teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application. If the leave is granted, head teachers are able to determine the number of school days a child can be absent for.
The Government has not defined ‘exceptional circumstances’ as referred to in the 2013 regulations. It is for the Head Teacher to decide what he/she views as ‘exceptional’ and it is at their discretion if the circumstances warrant the leave to be granted.
The school can only consider Leave of Absence requests which are made by the ‘resident’ parent.
Each application for a leave of absence will be considered on a case by case basis and on its own merits.
Where applications for leave of absence are made in advance and refused, the child will be required to be in school on the dates set out in the application. If the child is absent during that period, it will be recorded as an unauthorised absence, which may result in legal action being taken against the parent(s), by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Failure to make an application for leave in advance can also result in a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued to the parent(s).
All matters of unauthorised absence relating to a Leave of Absence will be referred to the Attendance, Compliance and Enforcement Service of Warwickshire County Council
It is important to note, Fixed Penalty Notices are issued to each parent of each absent child, (for example 2 children and 2 parents, means each parent will receive 2 invoices in the amount of £120 each, totalling £240 for both children, this is reduced to £60 per child if paid within 21 days).
Where a Fixed Penalty Notice is not paid within the required timeframe as set out on the notice, the matter will be referred to Warwickshire County Council’s Legal Services to consider instigating criminal proceedings under S444 Education Act 1996.
Fixed Penalty Notices are issued in accordance with Warwickshire County Council’s Code of Conduct for Penalty Notices.
Warwickshire Primary School pupils recorded 47,552 half day sessions of absence due to holiday in the academic year 2014/15. This is a decrease of 13,122 on the previous year. This is a positive outcome as it means that 6,561 extra days of education were achieved when compared with the previous academic year.
We greatly appreciate parental support to reduce the total amount of days lost due to holidays. We are committed to working in partnership with you to enable your child to reach their academic targets and to support their social development. For this to happen we need to keep individual attendance as high as possible - we all need to play our part.
Your child’s progress academically as well as socially is our shared priority.