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									TERM TIME FAMILY HOLIDAY ABSENCE INTRODUCTION Pupils taking term time holidays with their families can adversely affect their own educational progress as well as increasing the absence rates for the school. However, for some pupils these trips may be of great religious, cultural or family significance and may be the only time that the family can afford to travel. The paragraphs below summarise the guidance on this issue and give a model of best practice. DfEE GUIDANCE DfEE Circular 10/99 Social Inclusion: Pupil Support gives the following guidance. Parents should not normally take their children on holiday term time. Each request for holiday absence should be considered individually, taking account of The age of the child the Time of year proposed for the trip The nature of the trip and parental wishes The overall attendance pattern of the pupil The child's stage of education and progress. If a school does not agree with the absence, and the pupil still goes on holiday, the absence can be marked as unauthorised. If parents keep a child away for longer than was agreed with the school, any extra time can be recorded as unauthorised absence. Schools may delete from roll a pupil who fails to return within ten school days of the agreed return date, unless there are good reasons for the continued absence, such as illness. Schools should only exceptionally agree an absence of more than ten school days in a school year (but there is no need to regard ten days as an entitlement or norm). LEA GUIDANCE To authorise or not The LEA's policy in Ealing on term time holiday absence is that each absence must be considered individually and that if it has religious, cultural or social significance for the pupil then it may be authorised provided that a. b. The family gives advance notice in writing ( complete an application form) sample attached They give a return date C. They agree to take any academic work set by the school for the pupil with them on their trip (optional) d. the family have had explained to them, through written guidance, any educational disadvantages to their child through missing school.

10 days 'entitlement' or not Schools do not need to be constrained by the issue of "ten days entitlement to term time holiday". it is at the Head Teacher's discretion to authorise or unauthorise the whole absence, depending on the conditions they apply to assessing the absence. There is no automatic entitlement to 10 days term time holiday. Off roll or not The 1995 Pupil Registration Regulations set out the reasons that a pupil may be removed from a school roll. These include: i. ii. Not returning within ten days of the given return date from a term time family holiday and Receiving education at another school.

A pupil who fails to return on the due date can, therefore, be taken off roll from the first day of the holiday absence, but of course it is important that parents understand this issue when applying for the school's consent to the absence. There is no legal guidance on the length of time a holiday absence may go on. However, it would be reasonable to expect that a child away from school for a substantial period of time would have had arrangements made for alternative education provision. Parents may be asked if alternative education is going to be provided whilst the child is away. If it is then of course the child should be taken off roll. This decision may be more acceptable to parents if they understand that there is likely to be a vacancy in the same class when the pupil returns from the trip and applies to enrol at the school again. A substantial period is subject to the school's own interpretation, but in an absence of over a term could lead to the expectation that alternative education provision is being made abroad. BEST PRACTICE MODEL Based on the DfEE and LEA guidance, as well as good practice within Ealing schools, the following elements of best practice can be identified i. Parents should receive written guidance from the school on the issues raised by taking term time Holiday absence and the process to be used if they insist on applying for it. This guidance can be included in school literature, such as the school's prospectus, and in paperwork given to parents when they first enrol the pupils at the school. ii. The school's policy and procedures on term time holiday should be included in the school's attendance policy. iii. Parents can be advised to apply in writing for term time holiday absence, using a form which sets out the conditions the school apply to decide if the absence is authorised or not. iv. They actually receive a written reply from the school in response to their request for term time absence. This allows the school to confirm the departure and return dates and the regulations concerning taking a pupil off roll if they do not return as expected. For those absences where there is no clear religious, cultural or social significance, the schools may want to offer an interview to parents to discuss the reason for the absence and the educational disadvantages that it will cause their child.

vi. The school's link ESW can be consulted on how the absence should be coded or requested to interview the family about the absence.

vii. The school's ESW will, if requested, write to or interview parents about this issue and confirm the LEA and DfES position. However, though a potential source of conflict, the strongest position if that school Governing Bodies have a clear policy that encourages good attendance.


Can be taken off when -in the case of a pupil granted leave of absence exceeding 10 days for the purpose of a holiday and the pupil has failed to attend school within 10 days immediately following the expiry of the period to which leave was granted, and the proprietor is not satisfied that pupil is unable to attend the school by reason of sickness or any other unavoidable cause; -that he has been continuously absent of not less that 4 weeks and both the proprietor of the school and the LEA have failed, after reasonable enquiry, to locate the pupil; -the school attendance policy should outline what procedures are in place to Term Time Holidays and should be endorsed by the Governors. -if a pupil does not follow procedures and goes without permission/and or does not give a return date he can be removed after 4 weeks (back dated). Asking for evidence -it’s OK to ask to see tickets (although they should not have been bought before permission was asked) to check departure and return dates. The “unwell relative” -depends on the frequency that leave is requested for this reason – otherwise may not be practical. What should be given to the family This is up to the school. We don’t recommend being too helpful, but parents can be advised re KS1 and 2.

Name of school

headed paper


ADDRESS Telephone


PROPOSED DEPARTURE DATE........................... RETURN DATE................................. TOTAL NUMBER OF SCHOOL DAY ABSENCES APPLIED FOR.................................

Name & Signature of Parents/ Carer.


Name & Telephone of relative /friend who the school can contact if needed, during the absence

The school will consider the following points The child's previous attendance history The age of the child The child's stage of education (eg SATS Years) The time of year (Esp September . or if after end of May) The nature of the trip ( An exceptional / cultural experience) Is there a fixed return date Have previous holidays been applied for, what length have they been. Office use Seen by Headteacher/ Delegated person Agreement reached Date Authorised / Unauthorised Other points

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