Term Time Absence
What does the law say?
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Amendment Regulations 2013 provide that head teachers must not grant any leave of absence during term time unless:
- an application has been made in advance by a parent with whom the pupil normally resides; and
- there are exceptional circumstances.
If leave is granted, the head teacher must determine the number of school days a pupil can be away from school.
When will requests for absence be authorised?
Permission for absence can only be granted in exceptional circumstances.
Family holidays are not exceptional circumstances. All requests for absence related to holidays during term time will be refused and will be recorded as an unauthorised absence on your child’s attendance record.
How do I request an authorised absence?
If you consider there to be exceptional circumstances, a request should be made in writing using the Authorised Absence Request Form available to download using this link (or as a hard copy from the school office). You should set out as much information as possible to explain why you feel there are exceptional circumstances which make it necessary for your child to be absent from school. Copies of any supporting documentation should be attached to the Form.
To provide enough time for the application to be considered and responded to, you must request leave for exceptional circumstances at least 3 school days in advance and ideally as far in advance as possible.
A decision will be made within 48 hours and recorded on the Form, which will be returned to you by post (a copy will be retained on your child’s file). Where an email address has been provided a scanned copy will also be sent to you by email.
How do I request permission for my child to leave school early?
A request for your child to leave school early represents an absence from school and is therefore treated in the same way and follows the same procedures as for a leave of absence (see above).
What if I take my child out of school when the absence has not been authorised?
Any leave of absence that is not authorised in advance may result in a Penalty Notice being issued by the Royal Borough of Kingston to each parent/carer. The Penalty Notice carries a fine of up to £60 per child, rising to £120 if not paid within 21 days (if the fine is not paid after 28 days parents/carers may be prosecuted).
A copy of our full Attendance Policy can be downloaded from the Policies page of this website.