Planning a holiday in school time?  Here’s what you need to know:

Posted by on Jul 4, 2022 in News | No Comments

The law does not grant parents an automatic right to take their child out of school during term time. Any absence from school will disrupt your child’s learning. You may consider that a holiday will be educational but your child will miss out on the teaching that their classmates will receive during your holiday. Attendance is vital to academic success and lost education poses a potential risk of underachievement. This is something we all have a responsibility to avoid.

The Department for Education no longer allows Headteachers to grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you consider that your request for absence is exceptional you will need to complete an Absence Request Form.  If leave is not authorised and you nevertheless withdraw your child from school, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised absence. In cases where parents subsequently report their child as ill during this period, medical evidence may be requested to support this.

If your child is absent from school without authorisation, you will be committing an offence under the Education Act 1996. We may submit a request to Cornwall Council for a Penalty Notice to be issued, in accordance with Sections 444A and 444B of the said Act. Penalty Notices are issued per liable parent, per child and each carry a fine of £60 if paid within 21 days or £120 if paid after this but within 28 days. Failure to pay the Penalty Notice may result in legal action. Absence not authorised by the school may result in a prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court under Section 444(1) or Section 444(1A) of the Education Act 1996, leading to a fine of up to £2,500 and/or a custodial sentence. Cornwall Council may also apply for the costs incurred in taking the matter to Court.

‘Parent’ as set out in Section 576 of the Education Act 1996, defines parent to include: natural parents, whether they are married or not; any person or body who has parental responsibility for a child (as defined by the Children Act 1989) and; any person who, although not a natural parent, has care of a child. Having care of a child means a person with whom a child lives and who looks after a child, irrespective of what their relationship is with said child.

All absence requests must be completed by the parent/carer which whom the child normally resides. The relevant form can be obtained from reception or in Key Documents on the school’s website. Letters and emails will not be accepted. This form should be returned to the Attendance Office at least 14 days before the start of the absence.

If you have any queries in this regard, please contact Mrs Moss, the Attendance Manager by phone (01752 843715) or by email smoss@saltashcloud.net.