GOVERNMENT CHANGES RELATING TO HOLIDAY IN TERM TIME

We are writing to inform you that as from the 1st September 2013, all schools are unable to authorise any requests for absence relating to holidays in term time. This has been brought about by an amendment to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, which has removed reference to holidays and the ten day period. The amendments make clear that Head Teachers may not grant leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

These changes reinforce the government’s view following the “Taylor Report” on attendance, that regular school attendance is vital and that pupils should only be granted authorised absence by the school, in exceptional circumstances, e.g. illness, exclusions or due to other unavoidable causes. This view has recently been reinforced by Ofsted who in a recently published report on a school, reported, “Pupils clearly enjoy being at school. However, overall attendance is no better than average, and this is in part due to some pupils being taken out of school for holidays during term time by their parents, in spite of the fact that the school has a clear and published policy that makes it clear that such absence is unauthorised. This absence has an impact on pupils’ achievement. As a result, the overall judgement for behaviour and safety is good rather than outstanding”.

We would remind parents that unauthorised absences may well result in the instigation of parent responsibility measures which could be a penalty notice, or a fine of up to 2,500 and/or a term of imprisonment of up to 3 months depending on levels of absence. We hope you will support your child’s school by ensuring that your son/daughter obtains the maximum benefit from their time at school by attending punctually for the 190 days each year that the law requires, unless prevented from doing so by an unavoidable circumstances.

If you have any questions, please contact ACE or the Education Welfare Service on 01752 307404/05.