Holidays in Term Time
As a parent/guardian you have a legal duty to make sure your children are educated. Children are of statutory school age between the ages of 5 and 16. More precisely this runs from the term after a child’s 5th birthday until the last Friday in June in the school year in which they turn 16.
Absences can only be authorised by your child's school. Legitimate reasons for absence, including the following, may be authorised by your child's school:
- Medical or dental appointments (where ever possible these should be arranged outside of school hours)
- Days of religious observance
- Exceptional family circumstances e.g. bereavement
These are some examples of situations which Headteachers are unlikely to consider a good reason for your child to be out of school:
- Shopping trips
- Waiting in for a delivery
- Family birthdays
- Visits from relatives
- Family outings
- Not having the correct school uniform
- Family holidays
Parents often assume that they are automatically allowed to take their child out of school (especially during the last weeks of term) for a pre-booked family holiday. This isn't true. Like any other absence, the Headteacher would have to give permission for you to take your child out of school for a holiday.
Headteachers have the discretion to grant leave, but they should only do so in exceptional circumstances. If a headteacher grants a leave request, it will be for them to determine the length of time that the child can be away from school. This leave is unlikely, however, to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday.
Parents can be fined for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school.