Changes relating to the leave of absence for holidays. The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 have been amended and came into force on 1st September 2013.
Until now schools have been allowed to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday during term time in ‘special circumstances’ of up to ten days a year. However, the new amendments have removed reference to family holidays and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments make clear that Headteachers may no longer grant or authorise any leave of absence during term time for holidays or day trips, and this includes requests for other leave of absence unless there are very exceptional circumstances. Even then, a request for a leave of absence for exceptional circumstances will be at the headteacher’s discretion and is not a right.
If a ‘leave of absence for exceptional circumstances’ is to be requested from the Headteacher, each application will be judged individually on its own merit. Consequently, ‘leave of absence forms’ will no longer exist. Under the new system parents/carers will need to write to the Headteacher, outlining the date of the proposed leave of absence, detailing why the application is being made. When applying parents/carers should also state if their child has siblings at either Perton or Bilbrook so that a decision can be made for the family.
I am aware that some requests for a ‘leave of absence’ have been already been made this year and at the end of last year. Each application will be looked at individually and a decision made. However the Codsall High Federation of Schools will not authorise any further absence subject to the new regulations.
This academic year thirteen weeks of school holidays have been allocated to schools by Staffordshire County Council. The progress of students during the school year is determined upon students being in school as much as possible. The Department for Education has made this decision relating to leave of absence in order to maximise the learning opportunities for all students.