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 Hertfordshire County 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. Applications for holiday must be made in advance and only by the parent with whom the child normally resides.
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.
Regular and punctual attendance is a legal requirement for pupils registered at schools. If a child has at least 15 unauthorised absences in the current and/or the previous term, the school may look to request that the Local Authority issue a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Last academic year there were 328 unauthorised absences. These were due to term-time holiday absences. There were no incidents of truancy.