Leave of absence
Important Information for Parents/Carers
Under The Education Act (1996) requires parents to ensure their child attends school regularly. There is no automatic right to take your child out of school during term time. The Law does however allow Head Teachers to consider individual requests to authorise a Leave of Absence in Exceptional Circumstance(s).
The Head Teacher must be satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances to justify an authorised absence. It is the parents responsibility when submitting the request to provide all the information and evidence to prove exceptional circumstances.
The request for authorised Leave of Absence must be made at least two weeks in advance and the Head Teacher may invite the parent/carer(s) into school to discuss the request before a decision is made.
If the Head Teacher authorises the Leave of Absence it is expected that the child’s attendance will be of a satisfactory level both prior and after the date covered by the request.
If the Head Teacher refuses Leave of Absence and the absence is recorded as unauthorised, the Head Teacher may refer the matter to the Local Authority requesting that a Penalty Notice be issued.
A Penalty Notice is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. If the penalty is not paid in full by the end of the 28 day period the Local Authority may prosecute for the offence to which the notice applies.
Where there is more than one child, each parent may be issued with a Penalty Notice in respect of each child.
Research suggests that children who are absent from School may never catch up on the learning they have missed, which may ultimately affect exam and test results. As a parent/carer, you can demonstrate your commitment to your child’s education by not allowing your child to miss school for anything other than an exceptional and unavoidable reason.