Holidays and Leave of Absence
Over recent years we have had to make important changes to our policy regarding pupils taking time off school for family holidays. These changes are for the benefit of the pupils and aim to minimise the impact of absence during critical times of the school year. There has now been further guidance from the Department for Education and Central Bedfordshire Council which advises that unless special circumstances are identified then term time holidays should not be authorised. Any holidays taken without consultation or school authorisation will by definition be unauthorised.
There is no automatic entitlement for pupils to be absent for holidays during term time. You must provide additional information outlining why the holiday must be in term time, this application will then be considered carefully and only in special circumstances* will it be authorised. Should your application not be authorised and the holiday is taken then the Educational Welfare Service may issue a fixed penalty warning. Any subsequent unauthorised holidays taken whilst your child is at school could then trigger the fixed penalty being issued. Applications for holiday must be made in advance and only the parent with whom the child normally resides. Please download the Leave of Absence form below and complete.
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 expect schools not to authorise holidays because of:
Availability of cheap holidays
Availability of desired accommodation
Poor weather experienced in school holidays periods
Overlap with the beginning or end of term
We will not authorise any absences in the first week of the Autumn Term or during assessment times (May) under any circumstances, as these are such important periods in the school year.
Please support us by avoiding holidays during school term time.
Last Academic year there were 263 unauthorised absences. These were due to term-time holiday absences. There were no incidents of truancy.
* Special circumstances are defined as:
"For service personnel and other employees prevented from taking holidays outside term-time if the holiday will have minimal disruption to the pupil's education"; and when the family needs to spend more time together to support each other after a 'crisis'.