How do I request authorisation from the Headteacher to take my child out of school?
In order to acquire authorisation for you to remove your child from school you will need to fill in a request form and then either post or take it to student services.
The Headteacher then has to make a decision based on the information provided in the authorisation form, in addition to the evidence you have provided.
Can I take my child out of school for a family holiday?
No! Headteachers are not allowed to authorise absence for a family holiday unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you feel you have an exceptional circumstance you must contact your Headteacher prior to making any arrangements or taking any absence.
Parents are legally responsible for ensuring their children receive education in accordance with section 7 of the Education Act 1996 and if on a school roll that they regularly attend school.
- Headteachers cannot authorise absences if they believe it will impact negatively on a child’s education.
- Requests for absence during the following periods are likely to be refused:
- 1) The first half term of any academic year (applies to all pupils)
- 2) School or external examination periods
- 3) Any time during Years 10 and 11 (for all pupils in these Year groups)
- 4) Other times where significant school events are taking place (ie: Work experience week – Year 10)
- The following are not exceptional circumstances:
- a. A family holiday requested in term time for financial reasons.
- b. A holiday in term time organised and paid for by a relative or friend.
- c. A holiday arranged to fit in with the availability of accommodation or flights.
- d. A weekend sporting or music event where pupils are travelling to a venue.
- e. Absence in term time where the reason given is:
- i. Parents' work commitments
- ii. Work experience (Unless agreed with school prior to the date)
- f. Absences which reoccur (Other than medical or similar health related appointments)
This list is not exhaustive and provided for illustration only.
What IS absence from school for exceptional circumstances?
Exceptional circumstances could include:
- Where an absence from school is recommended by a health professional as part of a parent or child’s rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issue.
- The death or terminal illness of a family member.
- To attend a wedding or funeral of a family member.
- International or national sporting commitments.
- Where there is an exceptional or unforeseen circumstance which the Headteacher is confident adheres to the following principles:
- The absence is highly unlikely ever to reoccur.
- The Headteacher is convinced that absence from school is the only option.
- The absence does not negatively impact on the education of the pupil.
Please note: Evidence would be required in each case and must be submitted at the time of your request. We advise that you do not plan for your child to be absent from school without gaining prior agreement from their school first. Headteachers cannot retrospectively authorise absence from school under any circumstances.
What evidence is needed?
The evidence you will need to provide depends entirely on what type of leave from school you are applying for.
- A wedding abroad needs evidence of the event and can include invitations and evidence of travel/accommodation reservations.
- Enforced holiday weeks (ie Work closure fortnights) would require a letter from an employer.
- Sporting commitments would require a letter from the sports governing body or letters of invitation to a national or international competition.
- Attendance at a school or college interview (or other) would require an invitation letter.
If my request is authorised what are my responsibilities?
If your request is authorised, you are required to:
- ensure your child catches up on any missed school work. This is your responsibility and school is not obliged to provide work for your child to complete.
- ensure your child returns to school on the agreed date. Failure to return as agreed will result in absences being unauthorised. This may result in legal proceedings against you, either through a Penalty Notice or the Magistrates’ Court.
If you ignore a declined request
If your request is declined and you still take your child out of school, you may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice. If this is unpaid, it may be increased and if still unpaid, you may be summonsed to appear before a Magistrate.
Support and guidance on attendance is always available and if you have any questions about this or if you need help to achieve an improvement, then please contact the school to discuss this.