Any absence from school will disrupt your child’s learning. You may consider that a holiday will be educational but your child will still miss out on the teaching that peers will receive whilst your child is away. Children returning from a leave of absence during term time are also unprepared for the lessons which build on the teaching they have missed. Teachers then have to give more time to help individual children catch up on missed work. This poses a potential risk of the under achievement of other children in the class. This is something we all have a responsibility to avoid.
If the school refuse your application you can still take your child out of school but the absences will be treated as unauthorised. Unauthorised absences may lead to a Penalty Notice or a Summons being issued against you for irregular school attendance. In the case of unauthorised leave of absence the Education Welfare Service may be notified of the holiday taken and a Penalty Notice may be issued. Please note that such a Penalty is issued to each parent for each child taken out of school. A Penalty Notice is a fine of £60 if paid within the first 21 days which increases to £120 if paid between 21 – 28 days. Thereafter, if the Penalty remains unpaid this may lead to prosecution through the Magistrates’ Court.
Please note that with effect from 3rd September 2018 all unauthorised absences over 5 day threshold will be referred for a holiday penalty notice.
Having read these notes, if you still wish to apply for a leave of absence for your child to accompany you on holiday during term time then please complete a application form which can be downloaded here.
This form should be returned at least 7 days before the start of holiday. All requests must be made prior to the leave being taken. Leave cannot be authorised retrospectively.
PLEASE NOTE THAT IF WE BELIEVE YOUR CHILD TO BE ON HOLIDAY AND HAVE NOT BEEN INFORMED, YOU MAY RECEIVE A VISIT TO YOUR HOUSE TO CHECK ON THE WHEREABOUTS OF YOUR CHILDREN.
I hope you will support our efforts to raise attendance and attainment at our school.
We have received information below from Rochdale Borough Council regarding penalty fines for authorised absences.
The Education Welfare Service has been issuing penalty fines for authorised absences on behalf of schools since the introduction of the fines in 2003 under section 23 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act, 2003.
Penalty Notices are an alternative to the existing sanctions available under section 444 of the Education Act 1996 and section 36 of the Children Act 1989, allowing parents to discharge liability for conviction for the offence. The fine is £60 per parent per child if paid within 21 days, increasing to £120 per parent per child if paid within 28 days from the date of issue.
In 2013 the Education Regulations 2013 removed references to family holidays and extended leave. The amendments made clear that Head Teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless ‘exceptional circumstances’ exist. So on behalf of schools the Education Welfare Service also issued penalty fines for leave taken in term time.
Following the Isle of Wight v Platt case in 2016, penalty notices for leave in term time were suspended until a decision was made by Supreme Court. The Supreme Court overturned the decision made by the High Court made by the High Court recently so the Education Welfare Service also issued penalty fines for leave taken in term time.
Unauthorised leave for 10 sessions (5 school days) or more will qualify for a fine. No warning will be issued from the Local Authority because it is assumed that school will inform all parents that leave in term time will not be authorised unless its exceptional circumstances. ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ can be described as rare, significant, unavoidable and short and that the leave/absences could not reasonably be scheduled at another time.
St James’ CofE is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. We expect all staff, visitors and volunteers to share this commitment. If you have concerns regarding the safeguarding or welfare of any of our pupils, please contact Stuart Booth or Joanna Chambers.
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