In the summer term, the number of parents / carers requesting term-time absence increases a little. We do not authorise term-time absence for holidays or other reasons that are avoidable. This follows our Attendance Policy which the Governing Body agree, and follows the recommendations from the Department for Education.
If a child has unauthorised absences, there is the likelihood that parents will be issued with a penalty notice from Leeds City Council.
The National Association of Headteachers has produced some guidance recently, extracts of which are shown here:
The Education (pupil registration) (England) (amendment) Regulations 2013, which came into force on 1 September 2013, made it clear that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless ‘exceptional circumstances’ prevail.
The fundamental principles for defining ‘exceptional circumstances’ are that they are ‘rare, significant, unavoidable and short’.
Term times are for education. This is the priority. Children and families have 175 days off school to spend time together, including weekends and school holidays. Head teachers will rightly prioritise attendance. The default school policy should be that absences will not be granted during term time and will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances.
If an event can be reasonably scheduled outside of term time then it would not be normal to authorise absence for such an event – holidays are therefore not considered ‘exceptional circumstances’.