Pupil Attendance – Leave in Term Time (IMPORTANT!!)
The Government has amended key legislation relating specifically to the authorisation of leave in term time which comes into force on 1st September 2013 (further amended in Sept 2014). This decision has been made to encourage schools to take a firmer stance on unnecessary absence and to dispel the myth held by many parents that there is an entitlement to time off school for holidays in term time.
Since 1st September 2013, Headteachers cannot authorise any leave of absence during term time unless they are satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances to warrant the granting of leave.
As a result of these changes the Governing Body has taken the decision to make the following changes to our school attendance policy and procedures:
- There will be a new ‘application for leave of absence’ form – this must be completed well in advance of the proposed absence (one month minimum) Please click here for a copy of the application form.
- The headteacher will (most likely) need to meet applicants to discuss each application on its merits
- Penalty Notices (fines) may be used when parents choose to remove their child(ren) from school during term-time without the permission of the headteacher.
We hope all parents will acknowledge and understand the limitations placed on schools in granting any leave in term time. Therefore, we need parents to support the school in our efforts to reduce unnecessary absence and thus minimise the impact on the education of our pupils.
Similarly, good time-keeping is also essential – children who are late to school often feel embarrassed and often miss important elements of the day’s learning.
The National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) has advised its members to adopt advice that aims to clarify what is meant by an ‘exceptional’ reason for absence. The guidance also provides a clear analysis of the key issues. Mr Hargreaves will be using this advice from when considering applications from parents for pupil absence during term-time. Family holidays in term time are not considered exceptional circumstances.