Leave of Absence due to exceptional circumstances

Leave during term time


Parents and carers should be aware that holidays in term time will NOT be authorised unless there are exceptional circumstances. Please complete the Leave of Absence Request form BEFORE booking any term time holiday. Paper forms are available from the office or you can complete a digital online form which can be found at the bottom of this page. You may be fined if you take your child out of school for a holiday during term time. 


As of the 1st September 2013, the law gave no entitlement to parents to take their child on holiday during term time.  Any application for leave must only be in exceptional circumstances and the Head Teacher must be satisfied that the circumstances are exceptional and warrant the granting of leave. 


Head Teachers would not be expected to class any term time holiday as exceptional.  Parents can receive a Penalty Notice from the Local Authority for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school. Any period of unauthorised leave may result in a parent/carer receiving a penalty notice fine, there is no longer a defined timescale for this type of unauthorised absence and multiple fines may be issued within an academic year. 


A penalty notice is initially for £60. If this £60 is not paid within 21 days from the date of issue it rises to £120. If, after 28 days of the date of issue the £120 is not paid we will prosecute the parents under section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996. This will lead to a hearing in the Magistrates Court and may result in a fine of up to £1,000. 


Applications for leave of absence during term time must be made in writing at least 3 weeks in advance and the school must be satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances, which warrant the leave.  Where a leave of absence is granted, the school will determine the number of days a student can be away from school.  A leave of absence is granted entirely at the school’s discretion and is not a parental right. 


A written reply will be given to any parents requesting leave of absence, whether approved or not.  In the cases of leave being unauthorised a Penalty Notice Application may be made (see section above for further details). 


For the most up to date advice and guidance, and to access a copy of the revised Code of Conduct for issuing Penalty Notices please go to: www.staffordshire.gov.uk/education or contact the Education Welfare Worker based within the Local Support Team on 01827 782004