Instruction from the Department of Education (September 2013) now makes it very unlikely that permission for family holidays/leave of absence will be granted, except in the most exceptional of circumstances.

In determining whether an absence request is exceptional, we will follow national guidelines and, in particular, will take note of the following:


Pupils attend school for a maximum of 190 days each academic year. Regular attendance is vital for your child's educational progress. The Local Authority expects that all parents/carers ensure their children attend school whenever possible. Absence during school time is largely prohibited by regulation and hinders academic progress. Even in exceptional circumstances, the following factors may be taken into account when considering an application for leave:

  • Will leave at this point in time be detrimental to the pupil's education?
  • Will he/she miss any national tests or examinations?
  • Is his/her attendance a cause for concern?
  • Is the proposed absence during the month of September or any other transition period?
  • Has he/she already had leave during term time this year?
  • Did he/she have leave of absence during term time in the previous school year(s)?
  • Does he/she have any absences which have been recorded as unauthorised this year?

Holidays/leave requests will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances. This does not include:

  • Availability of cheap holidays
  • Parental/family working arrangements
  • Poor weather experienced in school holiday periods
  • Overlap with the beginning or end of term
  • Family celebrations

In line with the above procedures, all but absences in exceptional circumstances, will be recorded as unauthorised and parents may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice £60/£120 (per parent per child) if their child is absent without prior arrangement with the Headteacher.

In order to request a Leave of Absence, please ask at the school office for a leave of absence form or download the form below and return to school addressed to Mrs Swire, Attendance & Family Support Manager.

Leave of Absence