Holidays during term time – a change in the law
From the 1st September 2013 there was a change in the law relating to children’s attendance at school.
Term Time Holiday
Details from the Department of Education are as follows:
- The amendments make clear that headteacher may not grant any leave of absence during term time, except in very exceptional circumstances. Holidays for reasons of convenience or price do NOT qualify. Exceptional circumstances are absences due to, for example, military movement, funerals, weddings and terminal illness or bereavement of a parent of sibling.
- In exceptional circumstances, if leave is granted, the headteacher should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school.
You should not normally take your child on holidays in term time – it can be disruptive both to your child’s learning and to the school.
Any application should be made as far in advance of the holiday as possible and you should speak to the school before you book. Whilst absence may be granted in exceptional circumstances during term time, it is entirely the school’s decision and is not a parental right. As a result, Wiltshire Council has amended its policy on unauthorised absences which we as a school, and as a cluster of schools, adopted in September 2013.
The government expects:
Schools and local authorities to promote good attendance and reduce absence, including persistent absence; ensure every pupil has access to the full-time education to which they are entitled and act early to address patterns of absence.
- Parents to perform their legal duty by ensuring their children of compulsory school age who are registered at school attend regularly
- All pupils to be punctual to their lessons.
Penalty notices will be used where a pupil’s absence has not been authorised by the school.
The parents will be notified that an absence has been marked as unauthorised and that the consequence of unauthorised absence of 5 days or more within any 6 month period of an academic year is that the Local Authority will be notified in order to issue a Penalty Notice to each parent for each child.