Governors’ Policy Regarding Holiday requests
Until September 2013 Head teachers have had some discretion when they have received holiday requests. The current regulations make clear that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Examples given are absence for funerals, illness, medical appointments and examinations.
All unauthorised absences must now be reported to the Educational Welfare department, these include incidences where absence for illness has been requested but the school receive information that a holiday is being taken instead.
Parents/carers who take their children out of school without authorisation are liable to receive a penalty notice (fine) and in the case of either repeated unauthorised absences or those exceeding five days in total during a term; the child may be removed from the school’s register.
Attendance information for the whole of primary school life is now frequently requested by secondary schools when they are allocating places.
Unfortunately school governors have no flexibility, even where parents/carers are restricted by work commitments and they must enforce the regulations.