The Department for Education (DfE) has announced some important changes to the legislation surrounding holidays and extended leave in term time. The change in legislation has been introduced to reduce the high levels of absence that occur as a result of leave in term time. In the academic year 2011 to 2012, 9.7% of all absences in England were due to parents taking their child on holiday during term time. Please ensure you read the changes outlined in this letter carefully as no further requests for holidays or extended leave in term time will be granted.
From the 1st September 2013, the new regulations make no allowance for parents to take their child on holiday during term time. As a school, we fully appreciate the financial difficulties that some parents may face when booking holidays, particularly during school holiday periods, however, from the 1st September 2013 we will be introducing a new policy on taking holidays during term time and no holidays will be authorised. In addition, if parents still decide to take their child on holiday in term time, then penalty notices will be applied for. Penalty notices amount to a fine of £120 each parent for each pupil to be paid within 28 days. This is reduced to £60 each parent each child if paid within 21 days. Full details of this can be found in the attendance policy which is available on the policies section of this website. Please note that parents who do not notify the school of a holiday or who claim their child is ill for an extended period to cover a holiday will also incur a penalty notice. Where there is doubt as to the reason for an absence, additional verification may take place, including home visits. The Manchester City Council penalty notice protocol is available here.
The headteacher may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. All requests for leave of absence for exceptional circumstances must be made in writing to the headteacher who will consider each individual case. Only the headteacher can determine the number of school days a pupil can be absent from school if the leave of absence for exceptional circumstances is granted, but this is highly unlikely to exceed three days.
I hope that all parents will support us on this matter by not taking your child out of school during term time and recognise that the new legislation will bring about increased attendance and improved attainment in our school.
Further information can be found on the DfE website at: www.dfe.gov.uk