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 Gedney Hill Church of England and Shepeau Stow Primary Schools Federation

Gedney Hill CofE Primary

Leave of absence

Parents do not have the right to remove children from school for term time holidays.

Old regulations allowed headteachers to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday during term time in “special circumstances” of up to ten school days leave per year.

Headteachers could also grant extended leave for more than ten school days in exceptional circumstances. This right was embedded in the The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006.

However the Coalition government changed these regulations and issued the Education (Pupil
Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013. These amendments, as described below,
came into force on 1 September 2013.

The Coalition Government’s amendments to the 2006 regulations removes references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. Due to this legislation, it is not possible for the school to authorise any leave of absence in term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Any holidays taken in term time will not be authorised. What amounts to "exceptional circumstances" is a matter for the discretion of the Head Teacher and will be judged on a case by case basis but it is unlikely to amount to an exceptional circumstance if it is merely claimed that a holiday abroad can only be afforded in term time or that a parent is unable to take leave during school holidays.

Headteachers are required to determine the number of school days a child can be away from
school if the leave is granted.

Parents and carers are legally responsible for ensuring their children attend school (other than home schooling). Failure to do so is an offence under section 444 of the Education Act 1996.

Parents have no legal right to take their children out of school during term time for holidays.

This unauthorised absence may be referred to Education Welfare. This could result in a Fixed Penalty Fine of up to £120, per parent per child, under Section 444(B) of the Education Act 1996, for failing to ensure regular attendance at school.

“Good behaviour and attendance at school is vital if children are to make the most of the educational opportunities available to them. If children are not attending school regularly, punctually, and behaving well in the classroom, they will not be able to keep up with their school work; and may miss out on their chances of a good education.

Children who fail to attend school regularly, or who persistently misbehave are more likely to:
• Leave school with few, if any, qualifications.
• Be at risk of becoming involved in criminal activity.
• Have difficulty holding down a job.
• Experience social and other problems later in life.”

If you wish to apply for a leave of absence, forms are available from the school office and must be returned to school no later than six weeks before the intended absence.

All decisions regarding absence are at the discretion of the Headteacher.