Holidays in Term Time

Term Time Holiday Letter from Salford City Council

There is clear evidence in educational research that lack of attendance at school, for whatever reason, can significantly reduce the potential attainment and achievement levels of the young people concerned.

Holidays taken in term time are a significant reason for absence from school both locally and nationally.

From September 2013 pupils will no longer be granted up to 10 days leave for the purpose of a family holiday.

“…. Amendments to The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, remove references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school sessions (5 school days). The amendments make it clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if leave is granted……..”


All requests for leave of absence during term time must be put in writing. This should be in the form of a letter addressed to the headteacher explaining the dates of the holiday and the reason why you believe this to be of exceptional circumstances.

The parents/carers will be informed by letter of any decision made regarding the request for leave of absence within 7 days of the school receiving the request.

Should the request be declined by the Head Teacher and the parent / carer continue to take the holiday, the absence will be marked as unauthorised. This could lead to a request being made to the Local Authority for the implementation of a fixed penalty fine. This will be dependent on the length of absence.

In accordance with the Local Authority code of practise a fine can be implemented for 10 sessions of unauthorised absence which can be accumulative over the academic year. This fine is up to £120 per parent per child .


Brentnall Academy has implemented the following criteria in order to manage holidays in term time fairly and equitably across the school:

  • Under normal circumstances, school will not authorise any holiday.

Exemption to the above that will be considered, but not necessarily granted permission, will include:-

  • Medical evidence provided recommended holiday due to: Convalescence,Stress related illness, Family death

These exemptions will be considered on an individual basis

Breach of the Policy

Should a holiday be taken when no written request has been made or a request has been made and has been denied by the Head Teacher then the school may request for the implementation of a penalty notice to the Local Authority.

Under previous legislation, parents of a registered pupil whose child failed to attend school regularly and whose absence was unauthorised, committed an offence for which prosecution was the only available sanction. With the Education (Penalty Notices) Regulations 2007, penalty notices were introduced as an early intervention strategy which provides an alternative to the previous sanction by allowing parents an opportunity to discharge potential liability for conviction for the offence by paying a fine. 

From 1 September 2013, amendments to 2007 regulations reduced the timescales for paying a penalty notice. Parents must pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. This brings attendance penalty notices into line with other types of penalty notices and allows local authorities to act faster on prosecutions. 

If the penalty remains unpaid by the end of 28 days, the Local Authority (LA) must consider the commencement of proceedings for the offence to which the notice relates. The prosecution is not for the non-payment of the notice but is for failure to ensure regular attendance at school – Penalty Notice – Code of Conduct