Leave of absence during term time
Under the Education Act (1996), parents and carers are required to ensure that their child attends school regularly. Therefore, parents and carers should avoid arranging holidays or making other commitments during term time. Of course, circumstances may arise which lead parents/carers to ask for leave of absence during term time. Unfortunately, in many cases, even if a student has an excellent attendance record and the request is a reasonable one, the current law means that we will refuse the request.
Until September 2013, headteachers had the right to authorise up to 10 days per year absence. Unfortunately, this power has now been withdrawn and the Government expects it to be extremely unusual for leave of absence, including for holidays in term time, to be permitted by schools. Hence, we are only able to grant absence in ‘exceptional circumstances.’ We have been advised that this covers:
- The funeral of a parent, grandparent or sibling
- The death or terminal illness of a parent, grandparent or sibling
- Sudden loss of housing
- Out-of-school programmes such as music, arts or sports eg. attending a musical examination or representing Norfolk in a national sports competition
- Weddings of parents and siblings only
- A family holiday where a parent/carer on military service is departing to, or returning from, a war zone
If, having read, the above guidance, you still wish to make an application for a leave of absence, please full in the Leave of Application Form and return to us. If you would like any guidance, please contact Libby Heath, our Attendance Officer.
Please note that any refusal of leave of absence must be recorded as unauthorised by the school on the student’s records. As you may be aware, unauthorised absences which take a student’s attendance below 90% could result in legal proceedings against you.