Requests for leave of absence
Amendments to school attendance regulations were updated in September 2013. The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations state that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. It is important to note that head teachers can determine the length of the authorised absence, as well as whether absence is authorised at all. The fundamental principles for defining exceptional are rare, significant, or unavoidable, which means the event could not reasonably be scheduled at another time. Circumstances where absences may be regarded as exceptional will vary from school to school and family to family.
There is, however, no legal entitlement for time off in school term time to go on holiday and in the majority of cases holiday will not be authorised. Parents wishing to apply for leave of absence need to fill in an application form (available from the school office) in advance and before making any travel arrangements. If term-time leave is taken without prior permission from the school, the absence will be unauthorised and if the number of sessions of absence reaches the thresholds in Central Bedfordshire Council’s Penalty Notice Code of Conduct (10 sessions of absence in 12 school weeks), parents may be issued with a penalty notice or other legal action in accordance with the code. Taking holidays in term time will affect your child’s education as much as any other absence and we expect parents to help us by not taking children out during school time.