Are you thinking about taking your child out of school for a holiday in term time?

Authorising holiday in term time

Taking a child on holiday in term time is called a leave of absence.

Parents/Carers do not have the right to take their children out of school during term time. They may receive a Fixed Penalty Notice for taking holidays without the Headteacher's permission.

Before taking a child out of school during term time, parents/carers should complete a request for a leave of absence request form. They should return it to the schools' Headteacher.

The Headteacher/Principal must authorise any holiday requests in term time. Theirs is the final decision.

The Headteacher can only grant a request for leave in exceptional circumstances. Schools do not consider holidays an exception.

Issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice

Parents/Carers must make sure their child attends school regularly. Parents/Carers can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (fine).

The Council can consider issuing a fine when a child has five or more unauthorised absences in a row.

Fixed Penalty Notices are:

  • £60 per child per parent if paid within 21 days of the issue of the notice
  • £120 per child per parent if paid between 21 and 28 days of the issue of the notice

If parents/carers don't pay the fine within 28 days, we will send your case to our Legal Services team. This will be for prosecution in the Magistrates' Court.

The prosecution is for failing to make sure your child attends school regularly. It is not for non-payment of the fine.

Parents/carers will receive a letter to confirm this.

Paying a Fixed Penalty Notice

To make a payment, please telephone the Attendance and Inclusion Team on 01902 550621. Open Monday to Thursday 9am to 4.30pm and Friday 9am to 4pm

Have your debit/credit card ready. Please note we do not accept American Express Cards.

Monitoring a penalty notice

We will monitor and evaluate the outcomes of penalty notices with regards to:

  • improvement in school attendance
  • payment
  • any following legal action

We will review the use of the notices at regular intervals. We may amend the enforcement strategy of the local authority as a result.

Data will be provided at the beginning of each academic year to the parental responsibility and behaviour data collection. This is part of the administration of penalty notices and on behalf of the local authority.

Withdrawing a Fixed Penalty Notice

We only consider withdrawing a fixed penalty notice in the following situations:

  • We shouldn't have issued it. For example, we have issued it outside the terms of the Code of Conduct
  • You have committed no offence
  • We have issued it to the wrong person
  • It contains material errors
  • If you believe the school have recorded the absence incorrectly. You will need to contact the school to find out how they have recorded an absence

Contact Us

For more information, contact the Inclusion and Attendance Team on 01902 550621.

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