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Amendments have been made to the 2006 regulations in the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013. These amendments came into force on 1 September 2013.
The amendments to the 2006 regulations remove references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments make clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.
The school recognises the important link between regular attendance at school and the educational attainment of children. For this reason, parents/carers are actively discouraged from taking their child on leave during school term time, here or abroad. Parents/carers have a legal duty to ensure that all children of statutory school age (5-16 years of age) receive a full-time education and they are legally required to request term time leave from the Head teacher. There is no requirement that a request for leave will be granted, just because an application has been made.
Parents/carers who do not request term time leave and take their child(ren) on ‘unauthorised leave’, or fail to keep the school informed of changes to leave arrangements, may receive a fine, be prosecuted and/or the child(ren) may lose their place at their current school.
The school will consider each request on its own merits and whether there are exceptional circumstances for authorising the absence. The following are provided for illustration purposes as examples which may be considered exceptional and approved for term time leave (this is not a definitive list):
- Parent/carer required to take leave during factory or workplace close down
- Inflexible leave allocation in the parents profession
- To attend a family wedding or other special family celebration of a close family member i.e. parents, siblings and grandparents
- Death of a close family member
- Critical or life threatening illness of parent/carer or sibling
- Parent/carer requiring time to recover from a critical illness or major surgery
- Once in a lifetime opportunities
- Events of religious or cultural significance
The following situations would not normally be considered as being ‘exceptional circumstances’ for requesting leave during term time:
- Holidays abroad and in the UK to take advantage of different prices
- Weddings of extended family members
- Surprise holidays booked my members of the family