Holidays in Term Time

Request for Leave during Term Time Form 2023/2024

*****IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR 2024/2025*****

Information to add to schools website & correspondence regarding leave in term time

From August 19th 2024 the Government have introduced a new ‘national framework for Penalty Notices’. (in Telford & Wrekin the changes apply from 1st September 2024).

 There are significant changes that parents need to be aware of:

  • If your child has 10 sessions of unauthorised absence in a 10 school week rolling period, you may be issued with a Penalty Notice. These 10 sessions may include any unauthorised absence, including leave in term time and do not have to be consecutive.
  • Penalty Notices are increasing to £160 from September 2024. This can be reduced to £80 but only for the first Penalty Notice issued, if paid within 21 days – this reduction does not apply to any subsequent Penalty Notice.
  • Any 2nd Penalty Notice, to the same parent for the same child, issued within three years of the date of the first Penalty Notice will be charged at a flat rate of £160
  • A third Penalty Notice will not be issued within a three year rolling period, to the same parent for the unauthorised absence of the same child, – alternative action or legal measures will be utilised for subsequent offences.
  • In some circumstances a ‘Notice to Improve’ may be issued – However, a Notice to Improve will only be used in cases where support is appropriate. They will not be issued in cases of unauthorised leave in term time for holidays, where information for parents is included on schools website or a simple warning by the school that a Penalty Notice could be issued if unauthorised leave in term time is taken will suffice.

 ‘Parents should always apply to the Headteacher for any request for leave in term time by completing a request form available from school.  (DfE guidance states schools should not authorise leave retrospectively so any leave in term time taken without a request being submitted will be unauthorised absence)’.

In developing and publishing the new national framework, the Government has renewed appeals to parents not to take their children out of school during term time.  The Governors and Headteacher of this school support this and students will only be given permission to take leave in term time if there are exceptional circumstances. The DfE Guidance Working Together to Improve School Attendance (Feb 2024) states that: Generally, the DfE does not consider the need or desire for a holiday or other absence for the purpose of leisure and recreation to be an exceptional circumstance. (Paragraph 38.)

Each application for leave in term time will be considered and if it is agreed and authorised the Headteacher will determine the duration of any leave. However, if the application is not agreed and the absence occurs the dates will be unauthorised. Parents will be notified of any decision in writing. This notification may be hand delivered directly to the parent or posted to the parents’ home address.

As a school we are asked to inform you that in line with Telford and Wrekin Council Policy, if your child is absent for 10 school sessions within a 10 week rolling period and that absence is unauthorised, you may be subject to a Penalty Notice fine, criteria is as detailed above.

Guidance Notes for Parents requesting Leave in Term Time 2023/2024 ending August 2024

1. Parents wishing the school to consider granting leave of absence in school term time should read these notes carefully and then complete and send to the Headteacher the ‘Request for Leave’ form.  This form should be sent to the school in time for the request to be considered well before the desired period of absence.  Parents are strongly advised not to finalise any holiday booking arrangements before receiving the school’s decision on their request.  In any event the request form must be received by the school at least four weeks before the departure date to allow sufficient time for appropriate consideration.

 

2. The granting of leave of absence in school term time is, by law, a matter for consideration and decision by the school.  There is no automatic right to any leave in term time.  The Department for Education (DfE) and Telford & Wrekin Local Authority (LA) policy is that family holidays should not be taken in school term time.  Where such requests are made, for the leave to be granted, the Headteacher should decide if there are exceptional circumstances.

 

3. Each case will be considered individually and on its own merits.  Parents need, therefore, to consider very carefully before making any request for leave of absence the demands of the National and wider School Curriculum especially at the Key Stage assessment stage.  In considering a request, the school will take account of: –

• the exceptional circumstances stated that have given rise to the request;
• the age of the child;
• the stage of the child’s education and progress and the effects of the requested absence on both elements;
• the overall attendance pattern of the child;
• the nature of the trip.
• students/pupils on examination courses or due to take SATS will not normally be granted leave of absence.

 

4. Where parents have children in more than one school a separate request must be made to each school.  The Headteacher of each school will make their own decision based on the factors relating to the child at their school.  It is possible that because of these factors different decisions may be made.  It is hoped that if this situation arises parents will be persuaded to accept the reasons for refusal given and, thereby, withdraw any other requests.

 

5. Where requests for a grant of leave of absence are received from only one parent the response letter – agreeing or refusing – will be either addressed to both/all parents where they live at the same address or to each where they do not.  This is to ensure, particularly in the case of a refusal, that both or all ‘parents’ are fully aware of the consequences of ignoring a refusal as the refusal letter clearly states that each parent will receive a penalty notice.

 

6. Should the school decide to grant leave of absence but, the child does not return to school at the time s/he was expected to (i.e. following the expiry of the granted leave of absence period) and, no information is available to the school to explain/justify the continuing absence or, make known the whereabouts of the child, his/her place at the school could be lost.

 

7. Should the School decide not to grant leave of absence and parents still take their child out of school the absence will be recorded as unauthorised which may be subject to a Holiday Penalty Notice fine of £60 per parent per child.  From 1st September 2013 this fine will increase to £120 if not paid within 21 days.  Failure to pay the £120 fine within the period 22 to 28 days may lead to Court proceedings.

Our Parent Handbook is a quick guide to how we work at our school. Full school policies can be read on our Policies page