Term Time Holidays
Booking holiday during Term Time
The government advises that parents should not normally take pupils on holiday during the 38 weeks of the school year. It does not give parents the right to take any holiday during term time. However, it does permit schools to grant permission to take authorised absence in exceptional circumstances. Holidays can only be granted during term time in exceptional circumstances. For example:
- Forces Personnel on leave from a foreign posting.
- Significant family events
- Traumatic circumstances
The Governors will consider every request individually, but the following would not normally fit the criteria:
- Relatives coming to visit
- Cheaper holidays during term time
- Family day trips
- Visiting family/friends who have
different term dates or holidays
- More than one request in a school year
Where parents are genuinely unable to take holiday out of term time, the Governors will consider requests for a leave of absence. The school will require evidence from the relevant employer. The school does not have to give permission if you request holiday and parents may be required to provide proof of exceptional circumstances.
What is the effect on your child?
We recognise that sometimes circumstances make absence from school unavoidable. However, it is important that parents consider the possible impact of missing school. Your children may fall behind their classmates, may miss important class work and may find that relationships with classmates suffer.
How to request leave for your child
If you do wish to request leave for your child, you will need to ask for permission from the school before you book any holiday, and this must be at least three weeks before the planned absence. You will need to put your request in writing, outlining the exceptional circumstances which require a term time holiday.
In determining the applications the Governors will consider the following:
- Previous attendance history
- Child’s age and stage of education
- The time of year
- The exceptional circumstances
- Whether the parents are restricted to leave times by their employers
If the panel do not give permission, you may appeal to a second panel of different Governors.
Holidays will not be granted during test/exam periods which generally fall in May of each year.
Enforcement and the Law
If you take your child out of school without permission it will be recorded as unauthorised absence on your child’s record. If the unauthorised absence lasts 5 days or longer, or there is more that one incident on your child’s record you may receive a Fixed Penalty Notice. Whereas we hope it would not come to this, you could be prosecuted in the Magistrate’s Court for your child’s non-attendance at school. You can be fined up to £2500 per parent, or even imprisoned.
Only in exceptional circumstances may a school grant permission to take a holiday during term time. Even then, there are restrictions on what the school may permit. Failure to obtain the necessary permission could lead to prosecution.
There is no automatic right to take holiday during term time. However, under exceptional circumstances the school has limited authority to allow term time holidays. We will always consider cases on their individual merit and treat everyone fairly.
Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their children attend school regularly. Parents should give the school at least 3 weeks notice of any request for a leave of absence, which may be granted in exceptional circumstances.
Please telephone the school office on (01303) 257280 by 9.30 a.m. if your child is not able to attend school due to illness. An answer phone is in operation if your call cannot be answered immediately and you may leave details of your child’s name, class name and reason for absence. Please ensure that a phone call is made so that the school knows that your child is safe and secure. We have a duty of care to each and every one of our children, including knowing why they are not in school, therefore, if we have not been notified of an absence we will telephone home that morning.
Continued illness does not need to be reported daily but we would appreciate hearing from you every third or fourth day, unless a long term illness has already been reported.
If your child requires the school to administer medicine orally during the school day, parents/carers should complete a form authorising this which can be obtained from the school office or by clicking here.
Please report contagious illnesses straight away.
Diarrhoea and/or Vomiting:
In line with the recommendations of Public Health England we advise parents that if their child develops diarrhoea/and or vomiting whilst at school to please ensure that they are collected promptly. To help prevent the spread of infection within schools, all children with diarrhoea and/or vomiting should stay away from school until 48 hours after the diarrhoea and/or vomiting has stopped.
Please click here to read the ‘Send to school or keep at home?‘ advice from Shepway Rural LCSP.