Absence from school during term-time
It is important that parents and carers are aware that they are not legally entitled to take their children out of school for the purposes of a family holiday during term time. This has been the case since September 2023, when amendments were made to the School Attendance Regulations (2006). These removed references to family holidays and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days.
The amendments made clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
The latest document from the Department for Education (May 2022) states that:
- Only exceptional circumstances warrant a leave of absence.
- Schools should consider each application individually, taking into account specific facts and circumstances and relevant background context behind the request.
- If a leave of absence is granted, it is for the Headteacher to determine the length of time the pupil can be away from school.
- As Headteachers should only grant leaves of absence in exceptional circumstances, it is unlikely a leave of absence will be granted for the purposes of a family holiday.