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Requests for Leave of Absence in Term Time. If pupils are to reach their potential they need to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. Regular, uninterrupted school attendance is a key factor in helping pupils reach their potential. Every effort should always be made to avoid disruption to a pupil’s education.

Following amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 which came into effect 1st September 2013, Head Teachers are only allowed to grant leave of absence from school in exceptional circumstances. The decision as to whether any request is considered as ‘exceptional circumstances’ rests solely with the Head Teacher.

The fundamental principles for defining ‘exceptional’ are rare, significant, unavoidable and short; 'unavoidable' should be taken to mean an event that could not reasonably be scheduled at another time.

In considering whether or not to authorise a request for exceptional leave of absence in term time the Head Teacher will look at each individual case and only grant authorisation if the circumstances are truly exceptional. Additionally, any request should be made prior to the leave of absence and should be submitted to the school using the Request for Leave of Absence form (available here or from the school office). Parents/Carers may be asked to provide additional information/evidence or meet with the school to discuss the circumstances.

Parents/Carers will be notified of the Head Teacher’s decision at the earliest opportunity. If the circumstances are not considered to be exceptional then parents/carers will be informed of this and made aware that the Local Authority may be asked to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice if a child fails to attend school and if attendance for the previous 12 month period (to include the leave of absence) is not considered to be regular.

The school’s first day absence policy is as follows:

1. Parents should telephone or send a message to the school promptly by 9.30am if their child will not be attending school. A message can be left on the school answering machine.
2. If a pupil is absent without explanation by the time the registers are closed, the teacher must inform the office and record the child as an ‘unauthorised absence’.
3. The office will then telephone the parents to ascertain the reason for absence and ask them to put this in writing when their child returns to school.
4. If the parents cannot be contacted, then the emergency contact numbers will be rung and that person will be asked to contact the parents as quickly as possible, with the request that the parents/emergency contact person telephone the school within an hour.