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Holidays in term time

Is my child entitled to time off school for family holidays?

No. Parents/Carers do not have the right for their child to have leave of absence for a holiday. The Headteacher has a discretionary power to grant leave under exceptional circumstances but is under no obligation to do so.

Are parents responsible for their child's attendance at school?

Yes, by law, parents whose children are of compulsory school age (5 to 16) and registered at school, are responsible for ensuring that their children attend school regularly. If they fail to do this they may be guilty of an offence and can be issued a penalty notice or prosecuted under section 444 of the Education Act 1996.

Where can I get further advice?

Always contact the school first, as we are the only authority with the discretionary power to grant the exceptional leave of absence in term time. You can also contact the Local Authority's Attendance and Inclusion Officer through your child’s school.

What the regulations say

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 Amendments remove references to family holiday and extended leave, as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments make clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.