Recent changes in the law regarding holidays during term time come into effect from the 1st September 2013: parents no longer have any entitlement to take their child on holiday during the school term and schools have lost their dispensation to authorise such holidays entirely.
The Government has issued a list of exceptional reasons which are as follows:
• Family needs arising from service in the armed forces or from a parent working abroad
• Exceptional family ceremonies
• A holiday necessitated due to a disability or illness in the family
Schools have been advised that the cost of holidays, work rotas of parents and working in tourism / farming can no longer be considered to be exceptional reasons.
Our school, along with all the other local schools, have always endeavoured to be as reasonable as possible where term time holidays are concerned, and have authorised up to ten days in any single academic year. Please be aware that from September we will not be able to authorise holidays in term time as we must comply with the law.
Since September 2013, parents are required to write to the headteacher to request any leave of absence. Parents are asked to give as much notice as possible and to include in the letter, as much detail as possible including the reason for the absence. As a consequence of this change there will no longer be a Holiday Request form used by school.
We would like to draw to your attention to the fact that parents can be fined by the Local Authority for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from school, if they form part of a pattern of absence; we are keen for our parents to avoid finding themselves in this position. Parents are welcome to discuss individual circumstances with the headteacher.
Thank you for your understanding and support in this matter.
To view a letter from Cumbria Children's Services about holidays in term time, click here.