Leave of Absence in Term Time

Leave of Absence in Term Time

Absence during term time as a result of holiday/leave of absence interrupts continuity of teaching and learning and disrupts the educational progress of individual children. Bradford Children's Services aims to minimise the amount of time lost to term time holiday/leave of absence through a policy which actively discourages parents from arranging family holidays, trip abroad etc during term-time and supports schools to authorise absence for such leave ONLY in exceptional circumstances.

Parents should not take their children out of school without first seeking the schools permission.  Families do not have a right to take their children out of school for the purposes of family holidays or trips abroad. Parents should always speak to the school prior to any absence to discuss any information that they feel should be taken into consideration by the Headteacher in deciding whether to authorise the absence.

The DfE guidance instructs Headteachers NOT to authorise leave of absence in term time. Permission for this type of absence should only be granted in the most exceptional circumstances. It is for Headteachers to determine what are 'exceptional circumstances' and apply these consistently and equitably.

The following reasons will NOT be considered acceptable reasons for requesting leave of absence in term time:-

  • availability of cheap holidays
  • availability of desired accommodation
  • poor weather experienced in school holiday periods

The Local Code of Conduct allows for Penalty Notices to be issued to parent/carers if they fail to ensure that their child/ren attend school regularly.  This could be due to a holiday in term time or other periods of absence that are not authorised by the school.

Penalty Notices give parent/carers an opportunity to avoid prosecution. If a penalty notice is paid parent/carers will not be prosecuted.

The school make a request to the council to issue a Penalty Notice. The role of the council is to ensure it is issued in line with the Local Code of Conduct.  A Penalty Notice will only be withdrawn if there is sound evidence that it should not have been issued in the first place.

Penalty Notices are issued to both parent/carers of each child and must be paid in full within 21 days – instalments cannot be accepted.  After 21 days the Penalty Notice increases to £120 each and must be paid within 28 days of issue to avoid prosecution at the Magistrates’ Court, which could lead to a criminal conviction. If a parent is found guilty in court they can be fined up to £1,000.

Click here to download the Penalty Notice Local Code of Conduct. 

Click here to download Bradford Children's Services Holiday/Leave of Absence Penalty Notice Procedures and Guidance. This guidance also includes pro forma standard letters for schools to use to respond to requests for leave of absence in term time. 

Click here to download Bradford Children's Services Holiday/Leave of Absence Penalty Notice Request Form. This proforma has been revised to assist in streamlining the penalty notice process.

Please note - referrals should be emailed to the PN inbox ensuring each pupil/family is sent on a seperate email. As of September 2021 schools no longer need to wait until the pupil has 6 weeks of attendance. Please submit referrals once the pupil has returned to school. 

Please ensure all referrals are completed electronically and emailed to PN@bradford.gov.uk



Page owned by Waheeda Shah, last updated on 12/10/2021. This page has been viewed 32,719 times.