1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Authorising absences

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by 7even, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. 7even

    7even New commenter

    How strict are you when it comes to authorising absences for family holidays? I know what the law says and what our school policy is, but there seems to be "grey areas" and is it worth causing resentment and bad feeling just because they want a couple of days off at the end of term? But then again, if you allow one, are you opening the floodgates?

  2. I say no to all school holidays, whenever they are.
    Not sure what to do about family weddings though?
  3. Don't they just take them anyway?
  4. There is no "law" on this. Parents are "allowed" to take children out of school for up to 10 days for holidays.
    It is for governing bodies to make a policy decision about authorising holidays, or not.
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    There certainly is law on this, very specific law [The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, para 7], and it doesn't allow parents to take childen out of school for 10 days (unless by putting "allow" in quotes you mean that parents think the law says this when it doesn't). What the law allows is for the school to authorise absence for holiday in term time up to 10 days a year at the sole discretion of the school. Parents have no entitlement to it. The governing policy sets the policy on how (and if) that discretion will be used, the head applies the policy to individual requests. In my school the answer is almost always no, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Sometimes parents go anyway but usually not. We make clear that if they do they risk being served with a fixed penalty notice.
  6. 7even

    7even New commenter

    Totally agree. Parents think it's an entitlement when it's not.
    But the problem is "exceptional circumstances." Parents who know how to play the game will word their request to include all manner of "exceptional circumstances." Not sure I want to go down the route of challenging what may or may not be legitimate "exceptional circumstances."
    As you say, parents would probably still go anyway. A £50 - £100 fine is peanuts compared to the potential savings going off-peak season.
  7. I happily stand corrected.
  8. It is worth coming to a local agreement on this one, especially with secondary schools.
  9. I do decide this one on a case by case basis but I have a set of criteria that I use to justify my decisions
    Public examination years no holiday other than close family weddings or exceptional/educational opportunity (my judgement!). For instance I have allowed cadets trips that mean a three day weekend.
    Yrs 7/8/9 I allow about three to four days b4 I start to ask questions.
    I have this written as a "personal" policy and if I get an enquiry I send it out and ask parents to read it before they make a formal request. So far I haven't had any comeback when I have respectfully declined. Having said that we are independent (County Funded though - not posh [​IMG] ) so I don't have some of the restrictions that mainstream have and we are smaller. I don't know if this would be possible when you have 1500!

  10. We have a confederation policy, which is useful to quote.
    Yes they do take them anyway, sometimes!

Share This Page