Pupil Request for Leave
Guidance notes for parents/carers requesting leave in term time
Parents wishing the school to consider granting leave of absence in school term time should read these notes carefully and then complete the reverse and send them to the Principal. This form should be sent to the school in time for the request to be considered at least four weeks before the desired period of absence. Parents are strongly advised not to finalise any holiday booking arrangement before receiving the school’s decision on their request.
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’s (DfE) and Worcestershire Children First (WCF) policy is that family holidays should not be taken in school term time. Where such requests are made for leave to be granted, the Principal should decide if there are any exceptional circumstances.
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 National and wider school curriculum, especially at the Key Stage assessment stage. In consideration of 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
Where parents have children in more than one school, a separate request must be made to each school. The Principal 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 request.
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 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.
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 or her place at the school could be lost after twenty school days.
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 an unauthorised, which may be subject to a Holiday Penalty Notice of £60 per parent per child. This fine will increase to £120 if not paid within 21 days. Failure to pay the £120 fine within the period of 22 to 28 days may lead to court proceedings.