*Information from the Local Authority:
Every school day counts towards your child’s future. Days off school add up to lost learning. In total there are 175 non-school days a year. This gives families the opportunity to:
- spend time together
- go on family visits
- go on holiday
- go on days out
- attend routine appointments
The law says that parents do not have the right to take their child out of school for holidays during term time except in exceptional circumstances. If you take your child on holiday during term-time without the schools authorisation this will be recorded as unauthorised absence and may result in parents being issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Why shouldn’t I take my child on holiday during term time?
Many parents and carers think it is okay to go on holiday during term time, this has a negative effect on their children’s learning and ability to achieve. If your child goes on holiday during term time, they are absent:
- 10 days absence = 95% attendance
- 19 days absence = 90% attendance
- 29 days absence = 85% attendance
- 38 days absence = 80% attendance
- 47 days absence = 75% attendance
Children with over 90 per cent attendance are more likely to gain five or more A-C GCSE’s or equivalent qualifications.
How do I request leave of absence for a family holiday?
All requests should be made on an Application for Leave of Absence for Annual Holiday which is available from your child’s school. You should also submit any evidence to support your exceptional circumstances (see below). This should be submitted no later than 21 days before the start of the holiday.
Will the school authorise taking my child away during term-time?
The Legislation for authorising absence in term time states that holidays will not be authorised ‘except in exceptional circumstances’. The headteacher will consider your request and respond to your request.
What happens if the head teacher does not agree my request?
- your child’s absence will be marked as unauthorised absence and you will be informed of this
- if you take your child on holiday your child’s school may request the Local Authority issue a Fixed Penalty Notice.
- the Penalty is £60 per parent per pupil and if not paid within 21 days this will increase to £120, failure to pay the full amount within 28 days will result in a summons to appear in the Magistrates Court on the grounds that you have failed to ensure your child’s regular attendance at school
*All Trinity families are required to sign a home-school agreement promising not to take term time holidays. We ask parents and carers to honour this agreement and teach our children that our word is trustworthy.
Information for Parents
What is an Education Penalty Notice?
The Anti-Social Behavioural Act 2003 introduced Legislation that made provision for a Local Authority to issue Education Penalty Notices. These notices require a fine to be paid by parents/carers of pupils who have unauthorised absence from school during term-time.
An Education Penalty Notice (EPN) can be issued in three situations:-
- If a Holiday or other leave of absence is taken during term-time without the authorisation of the Headteacher.
- If a Pupil has a period of unauthorised absence from School following an EPN warning letter, and the attendance does not improve within 15 days. (If you do receive a warning letter from your child’s school about their attendance you should get in touch with the school as soon as possible.
- If a pupil is excluded and is found in a public place during school hours.
Any absence which does not meet the criteria of being ‘an exceptional circumstance’ will be marked as unauthorised absence and as such you may be at risk of receiving an Education Penalty Notice. Please be aware that BOTH parents are at risk of receiving an Education Penalty Notice for EACH child of the family with a period of unauthorised absence from school in line with Section 23 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.
What are the Penalties?
If an Education Penalty Notice is issued the penalty is £60 per parent per child when the payment is made within 21 days. If payment is not made within 21 days the penalty amount will double to £120 per parent per child and must be paid by the 28th day of issue.
Failure to pay within 28 days will result in a summons to appear before the Magistrates Court on the grounds that you have failed to secure your child’s regular attendance at School. If the case progresses to Court you may receive a Fine of up to £1000.
What must I do?
If you are having difficulties in ensuring your child attends school regularly, you should contact your child’s school in the first instance. If you receive a warning letter from your school or Doncaster Council about your child attendance you should get in touch with the school as soon as possible, to discuss the reason for your child’s absence from school.
You should avoid taking your child out of school for a holiday unless there are exceptional circumstances as you may receive an Education Penalty Notice.
Can I get help if my child is not attending school regularly?
The Local Authority supports schools, parents and pupils so that high levels of attendance can be achieved. In the first instance you should contact your child’s school who will offer advice and support. You can also seek advice from the Attendance and Pupil Welfare Service on 01302 736504.
Every school in Doncaster is supporting the message that school attendance is a high priority. We hope that parents will help us to ensure that all Doncaster children achieve the very highest levels of attendance at school.
Application forms are available to collect from our Reception area.
Notes For Parents
Application for Leave of Absence 2019/20
Please complete the Form and return it to the Headteacher for any application for leave of absence for the Academic year commencing 4th September 2019 – 17th July 2020. The decision will be based on the Education (Pupil Registration England) Regulations 2006 (Amended September 2013). Headteacher’s should determine the number of School days a child can be away from School IF leave is granted and may make the decision following advice from the Local Authority.
Any absence which does not meet the criteria of being ‘an exceptional circumstance’ will be marked as unauthorised absence and as such you may be at risk of receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice. Please be aware that BOTH parents are at risk of receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice for EACH child of the family with a period of unauthorised absence from school in line with Section 23 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003.
If a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued the penalty is £60 per Parent per Child when the payment is made within 21 days. If payment is made after 21 days but within 28 days this will increase to £120 per Parent per Child. Failure to pay within 28 days will result in a summons to appear before the Magistrates Court on the grounds that you have failed to secure your child’s regular attendance at School. If the case progresses to Court you may receive a Fine of up to £1000.
The 2013 change to Legislation states that it is really important that every child attends school for as many of the 380 half day sessions of the school year as possible. It is the responsibility of Parents to ensure that their Children do not take unnecessary time off school.
Any absence taken during term-time destroys the continuity of the child’s education and reduces chances of success. Absence in the weeks prior to SATS tests or GCSE’s will also disrupt revision and omit the reassurance that school staff can provide during the preparation period.
Absence taken during years 6,7,10 and 11 and at the beginning of the academic year can also have a negative impact on transition and assessments.