Absence during term time has the potential to interrupt continuity of teaching and learning, as well as disrupt the educational progress of individual children. West Jesmond Primary School aims to minimise the amount of time lost to term time absence through a policy which actively discourages parents from arranging periods of absence during term time unless in exceptional circumstances.
This policy is intended to be a clear statement regarding the issue of term time absence, and to ensure that the amount of teaching and learning time lost to absence such as term time holidays, is as a result, minimized. The Headteacher will be consistent in making robust and informed decisions with regard to the authorising /non-authorising of leave for absence to ensure that parents develop a consistent understanding of the response which they may expect.
The Headteacher will decide what might constitute as “exceptional circumstances”.
Such circumstances might include the following:
- A parent, grandparent or other close relative is seriously/terminally ill;
- There has recently been a death or significant other trauma in the family and it is felt that an immediate period of absence might help the child concerned better deal with the situation.
Legislation and requests for term time absence
Previously regulations have allowed Headteachers to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday during term time in ‘special circumstances’ of up to ten school days leave per year. Headteachers were also permitted to grant extended leave for more than ten school days in ‘exceptional circumstances’. From the 1st September 2013, amendments to the 2006 Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations remove references to family holiday and extended leave, as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments make clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Head teachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.
Please note that holidays taken during term time, without prior permission from school, could result in legal sanctions for irregular attendance being taken against you. These legal sanctions are set out as amendments to the 2007 Regulations in the Education (Penalty Notices) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013. These amendments will again come into force from 1st September 2013. The 2007 regulations set out the procedure for issuing penalty notices (a £60 fine payable within 21 days or £120 within 28 days) to parent who fails to ensure their children’s regular attendance at school.