The trust will recommend to the local authority the issue of a penalty notice, where either of the criteria is found to exist, namely:

  • The holiday is taken at anytime in September.
  • For any student whose attendance was below 95%, within the previous 12 calendar months of the holiday being taken.
  • At any time during formal external examinations and assessment periods, including preparation time.
  • If a holiday warning letter or Penalty Notice has been issued during the previous 12 calendar months, of the holiday being taken.

The Law

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (as amended) sets out the law in respect of leave of absence for a pupil during term time. Head Teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Head Teachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted. An application for leave of absence should be made to the Head Teacher, by a parent with whom the pupil normally resides, giving at least one month’s notice. Application forms are available from each academy office or downloadable from the academy website.

A Penalty Notice can be issued by the Local Authority where leave of absence is not granted, but taken. A Penalty Notice is a fine of £60 payable within 21 days, if unpaid increasing to £120 payable within 28 days. A separate Penalty Notice will be issued to each parent for each child who has not been granted leave of absence.

A parent is defined under section 576 of the Education Act 1996 as:

  • all natural parents, whether they are married or not
  • any person, although not a natural parent, has parental responsibility for a child or young person
  • any person, who although not a natural parent, has care of a child or young person (having care of a child or young person means that a person with whom the child lives and who looks after the child, irrespective of what their relationship is with the child, is considered to be a parent in education law).

Is saving money more important the your child’s education ?

As few as 19 missed days over the school year reduces your child’s chances of success. Their SAT or GCSE results could drop by one grade across all subjects.

Taking leave of absence at critical times such as during exams or at the start of a new school year seriously interrupts your child’s education.

This is how Ofsted rates your child’s school attendance

  • 100%-99% OUTSTANDING
  • 98%-97% GOOD
  • 96%-95% SATISFACTORY
  • 94%-91% INADEQUATE
  • 90%-86% CAUSE FOR CONCERN
  • 85% & below SERIOUS CONCERN

The Academy expects every child to have at least 97% attendance at any one time throughout the school year.

The Process

When considering an application, the Head Teacher will have regard to exceptional circumstances which will focus on:

  • a recent serious illness/bereavement of an immediate family member
  • a member of the Armed Forces whereby they need to undertake a tour of duty which conflicts with school holidays
  • restrictions on police leave, where a police officer has specific duties in relation to a national event which conflicts with school holidays.

Evidence of the exceptional circumstance will be requested.

The Head Teacher’s decision is final.

Each parent will be notified in writing of the Head Teacher’s decision.  When the decision is made not to grant leave of absence in term time and the leave is taken without prior approval, or without application, the Academy will refer the matter to the Local Authority to consider the issue of a Penalty Notice.

In making its recommendation, the Academy will have regard to the Penalty Notice Code of Conduct drawn up by the Local Authority which sets out measures to ensure consistency in the issuing of penalty notices.

Where leave of absence is taken without application, this will be investigated in accordance with the Academy’s safeguarding and child missing from education procedures and may involve referral to the Local Authority Children’s Services and the police. Fines may be issued.