From 1st September 2013, any holidays taken during term time will NOT be authorised by the school. This is because the Government has recently changed the law with regard to granting term time leave of absence, replacing the 2006 regulation that allowed schools to grant up to 10 days leave of absence at their discretion. This means that from September 2013, schools may NOT grant ANY leave of absence during term time unless there are EXCEPTIONAL circumstances.
Exceptional Circumstances does NOT include
Cheap holiday cost.
Getting personal paperwork, visas updated (this should be planned into holiday periods).
Visiting relatives (this should be planned into holiday periods).
Exceptional Circumstances MAY include Emergency service / forces personnel with proof of enforced holiday period.
Holiday industry employees with proof of this being the ONLY time period allowed by employer
One transcontinental leave request per Key Stage for a very significant extended family event, including seeing and elderly/ seriously ill relative.
Regular time off for illness will be challenged, requiring not only medical evidence but also medical guidance on how schools can best support and ‘manage’ those children in school. Saying a child is “unwell” will no longer be enough, parents will need to be specific.
Any time away from school can have a significant impact on educational attainment, success in later life and longer term health and well-being. In law, parents and carers are committing an offence if they fail to ensure the regular and punctual attendance of their child at school.
Therefore, any unauthorised absence in term time can result in the issuing of a Fixed Term Penalty Notice by the Early Intervention Team. Parents will have 21 days to pay this £60 fine, after which it goes up to £120. Failure to pay a Fixed Term Penalty Notice within 28 days may result in a criminal conviction and a fine in the Magistrate’s Court of up to £1000. A fixed Penalty Notice might also be issued if a child’s attendance falls below 90% and no satisfactory reason or explanation is given.
Where an absence is considered to be completely unavoidable, a term time leave request form is available from the office which must be completed and returned as far in advance as possible.
Somerset County Council will be supporting all schools in ensuring the law is upheld.
If you have any concerns about the contents of this reply, please contact the school’s Education Attendance Officer at SCC, County Hall, Taunton, Somerset. TA1 4DY .