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Holidays in Term Time

From September 2013, the DFE Guidance regarding students being allowed time out of school in term time changed. Amendments to the 2006 regulations remove references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of 10 school days.

Headteachers have the discretion to grant leave, but they should only do so in exceptional circumstances. If a headteacher grants a leave request, it will be for them to determine the length of time that the child can be away from school. This leave is unlikely, however, to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday.

Parents can be fined for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school. Please be aware that a penalty notice (fine) can be issued to each parent who fails to ensure their children’s regular attendance at school.

Examples of Exceptional Circumstances

  • When a family needs to spend time together because of an immediate family members bereavement, crisis, or serious illness.
  • Funeral of immediate family member.
  • Children of service personnel about to go on deployment (permission would be considered as long as the request is accompanied by a letter from the commanding officer).
  • One day of absence could be authorised for a wedding of an immediate family member and the invitation has been provided as evidence.
  • One-off sporting events/performing arts competitions, if the child is participating and is at county standard or above and a letter has been provided from the performing arts/sports regional governing body as evidence.
  • One day of absence could be authorised for an immediate family members graduation ceremony/passing out parade.

Examples on Non-authorised Absence

  • To care for other family members
  • Birthdays
  • To interpret for other family members
  • No school uniform/shoes
  • Bullying
  • Friendship problems
  • Head lice
  • Learning difficulties
  • Family holiday
  • Weddings abroad, regardless of whether it is for immediate family members
  • Family anniversaries
  • Travel problems
  • School refusal

Immediate Family

The immediate family is a defined group of relations, used in rules or laws to determine which members of a person’s family are affected by those rules. It normally includes a person’s parents, spouses, siblings, and children. It can contain others connected by birth, adoption, marriage, civil partnership, or cohabitation, such as grandparents, grandchildren, siblings-in-law, half-siblings, adopted children, step-parents/step-children, and cohabiting partners.

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