Holiday Leave Entitlement
Following many statements regarding school attendance by the Secretary of State, Mr Gove, the Government has now introduced some significant changes to attendance regulations for pupils at school.
The most important of these is in relation to term-time family holidays. Below is a quotation directly from the Department for Education Circular:
'Amendments to the 2006 regulations remove references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments make clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.'
I draw your attention particularly to the second sentence of this paragraph. Clearly, there are many situations which may constitute exceptional circumstances, but as a general rule we interpret 'exceptional' in this context as being of unique and significant emotional, educational or spiritual value to the child, which outweighs the loss of teaching time. This interpretation will have different parameters from one case to another, and whilst it will be important to look at the whole situation in making decisions about any individual request, the normality will be that requests will be refused.
May I therefore please ask that you respect these new regulations under which we must now work, and that if you do need to take your child out of school during term time, you make very clear, in a written request, how the circumstances are exceptional. If this is not clear, then under the new legislation I will not be allowed to grant leave.
In addition to this new legislation there are also new regulations in which the imposition of penalty fines for parents and carers taking children out of school in unauthorized circumstances, which are now being imposed more strictly by the Local Authority. You should also be aware that the rates and the timings of imposition of penalty fines have also become much more stringent.
Mrs Elizabeth Kearns
Hampton Dene Primary School
Hereford HR1 1RT
Tel: (01432) 273232
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