Holidays during term time

Did you know? Students do not attend school for 13 weeks of the year. Please arrange family holidays during this time, as the Academy cannot authorise term time leave for students.

Holidays in term time will not be routinely authorised

The law gives no entitlement to parents or carers to take their child on holiday during term time and you have to get permission from the Headteacher.

You can be fined for taking your child on holiday during term time without the school’s permission.

Should you wish to do so, you should submit a request in writing to the Headteacher at least 4 weeks in advance. Such requests are not usually authorised, except in exceptional circumstances and it’s up to the Headteacher how many days your child can be away from school if leave is granted. This is normally never more than 5 days.

In line with local and national Government guidance, the Academy does not class routine family holidays as exceptional.

The following circumstances are also not considered exceptional:

  • family weddings
  • parents or carers patterns of work, including holiday patterns, unless they are a member of the armed services
  • reduced costs or decisions relating to finance of holidays during term time
  • renewal of passports or visas overseas

‘Exceptional circumstances’ are considered rare, significant, unavoidable and short, and any resulting absence from school could not reasonably be scheduled at another time.

It is particularly important that students do not miss the start of terms due to extended holidays, especially in September, as this can be particularly disruptive and unsettling for children.

Please also remember that GCSE examinations do not finish until the end of June each year and students in Year 10 and Year 11 should not miss school due to holidays at any time.

Following the Isle of Wight vs Platt court case in 2016, Fixed Penalty Notice fines for holidays during term time were suspended until the Supreme Court ruled on this matter. The Supreme Court subsequently overturned the decision of the High Court. This means that Rochdale Local Authority and Educational Welfare Service have reinstated Fixed Penalty Notice fines.

Parents and carers will therefore receive a Fixed Penalty Notice fine from Rochdale Local Authority if they take their child out of school during term time without authorisation from the Academy for 10 sessions (5 school days) or more. The fine is currently £60 per child per parent if paid within 21 days and £120 if paid between 22 and 28 days. Failure to pay the fine could lead to prosecution in Magistrate’s Court.

No warning will be given by the Local Authority prior to a fine being issued because all parents have been informed via the Academy website.

The Academy fully appreciates that there are a number of reasons why a family may seek a holiday during term time, including the financial difficulties that some parents face when booking holidays during school holidays. However, the Local Authority continues to monitor all school absences and will challenge all schools and parents that do not adhere to Government legislation. They do this to secure improved attendance and educational achievement for all students in the borough.

Further information on this matter is available at the Department for Education’s website: https://www.gov.uk/school-attendance-absence/legal-action-to-enforce-school-attendance

Should you need to discuss holidays during term time or fixed penalty notices you should contact your child’s Year Director or the Attendance Officer, Miss Kenny: angela.kenny@stannesacdemy.org.uk

You can also contact the Education Welfare Service in Rochdale by telephone: 01706 925 115. The Academy’s link Educational Welfare Officer is Mrs Taylor. She can be contacted by email: elizabeth.taylor@stannesacademy.org.uk