Holidays/ Absence in Term Time

We know that you as parents/carers want the best for your child and that having a good education helps to open up more opportunities in adult life. Bearing this in mind, here is a reminder regarding the law relating to holidays taken during term time.

As parents you have a legal duty to ensure that your children attend school on a regular basis. The Education Act 1996 makes it a criminal offence for a parent to “fail to secure their child’s regular attendance at the school”. The recent amendments to the 2006 Regulations remove any reference to family holidays, extended leave and the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments also make it very clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence (holiday) during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The amendments give parents no entitlement to take their child out of school for a holiday in term time and require the Headteacher and Governing Body to determine what the exceptional circumstances are. The decision will be made by the Headteacher, who will will use their discretion to consider each request individually.

A completed leave of absence form must be completed . These are available from the school office or by clicking below.

  • It must clearly state in the letter what the exceptional circumstance is that requires the leave of absence being taken in term time.
  • On receipt of the request, you will be sent a response indicating whether the school is able to authorise the leave of absence or not.

If parents, contrary to what the school has said, still decide to take their child out of school for a leave of absence then the absence will be coded as unauthorised. This may lead to the school referring the matter to the Local Authority requesting a Fixed Penalty Notice to be issued. 

Penalties for unauthorised absence


One child

Two children

Paid within 21 days

£60 per parent

£60 per child = £120 per parent

After 21 days and before 28 days

£120 per parent

£120 per child = £240 per parent

After 28 days

The parents will receive a summons to appear before the Magistrates’ Court on the grounds the parents have failed to secure their child’s regular attendance

The parents will receive a summons to appear before the Magistrates’ Court on the grounds the parents have failed to secure their children’s regular attendance

(NB: Definition of Parent: natural parent OR person who has responsibility for the care of a child).

We know that some parents/carers will find these measures severe but we believe that regular and high attendance is in every pupil’s best interests and helps to maximise their achievements and enjoyment of school. Evidence shows that children with poor attendance are unlikely to succeed academically.

 All schools have a statutory obligation to provide information to the local Authority and the DFE regarding attendance and the Education Welfare Service monitors attendance in all schools.

The above information reflects accurately the current legislation and as a school, we have a duty to point this out to parents/carers.


Sheridan Street, Sinfin, Derby, Derbyshire DE24 9HG

Mrs K Patmore - Principal

01332 771370 - Cottons Farm Academy