Term time holidays
School authorisation of absence – new regulations
As you will be aware the government is tightening up the legal requirements on school attendance. Attendance is closely monitored through OFSTED for the government and this is one of the criteria by which schools are judged. In our recent Ofsted report, inspectors identified the issue of days lost through holidays in term time as one the school needs to address. The government’s new directive is:
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 currently allow 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 can also grant extended leave for more than ten school days in exceptional circumstances.
Amendments to the 2006 regulations now coming into force in 2013 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. Headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.
Oxfordshire County Council have written to all all school and this letter states:
“From 1 September 2013 Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.”
In the light of this change, parents and carers need to be aware that it will no longer be possible to authorise any leave of absence in term time unless there are exceptional circumstances such as an educational visit or absence for exceptional family reasons. We are not able to grant leave of absence simply because a holiday is cheaper in term-time, or more convenient work-wise.
To ensure that we comply with these regulations, parents requesting leave of absence will need to detail the exceptional circumstances on our new leave of absence request form in order that these can be assessed. You will find an updated copy of our request form attached. Absence will not be granted if attendance is below 94%.
If you have any queries or questions please contact your child’s Head of Year. As always, as a school we are committed to working with you to ensure the best for our students and in keeping you fully informed.
Mr Paul Thomas
Download the holiday request form here.