Attendance and Holidays in Term Time

As a parent/ carer you are legally responsible for making sure your child/children attends school regularly.

It is important that you and your child/ children develop a positive attitude to school attendance and punctuality so that they do not miss out on the opportunities at school. These qualities of reliability are also important in adult life. 

Poor attendance disrupts a child’s education. This causes a lack of continuity and progression in school work and can establish patterns of behaviour which may lead to long-term truancy.

Holidays During Term Time

We understand that holidays are generally less expensive during term time but this does NOT count as an Exceptional Circumstance.

Please Note:  Leave which is taken for the following reasons will not be authorised:-

  • Availability of cheaper holidays
  • Availability of desired accommodation
  • Poor weather experienced in school holidays
  • Overlap with beginning or end of term.

We greatly appreciate parental support to reduce the total amount of days lost due to holidays.  We are committed to working in partnership with you to enable your child to reach their academic targets and to support their social development and for this to happen, we need to keep individual attendance as high as possible and we all need to play our part.

If a child achieves 80% attendance, this means that they have missed approximately 40 days of education over the academic year, averaging 1 day per week.  If a child's attendance equates to 80% over their time in secondary school, they will miss more than a full year of education.

Please note: Holidays which are unauthorised should not be taken.  If they are taken, parents are in breach of their legal duty to ensure that their child attends school full time and may be subject to a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecution through the courts.

Your child's progress

Evidence shows that children with poor attendance are unlikely to succeed academically and are more likely to be NEET (not in education, employment or training) when they leave school.

If children are taken away for a two week family holiday every year and have an average number of days off for sickness and appointments, they will have missed the equivalent of a year off school by the time they are 16.

There is a clear link between poor attendance at school and lower academic achievement. (improving attendance at school - Charlie Taylor pub. DfE 2012.)

Previous interpretations of the regulations where Headteachers could grant pupils leave of absence of up to 10 days for the purpose of a two week family holiday in term time has been interpreted by some parents as a right to an automatic two week term-time holiday.  This is not acceptable and the rules have been strengthened to prevent this happening in the future.  For this reason the Government brought in new guidance in 2013, tightening the time off in term-time.  Headteachers are no longer permitted to authorise absence for holidays taken during term time.  They are only permitted to grant leave for exceptional circumstances.  If you think you have exceptional circumstances, please talk to use without delay and before arrangements are entered into or money committee.  If exceptional circumstances are accepted, the Headteacher will determine how much absence will be authorised.

First page of the PDF file: AttendanceatSouthamPrimarySchool