Leave of Absence

It is strongly advised that you do not take your child out of school for ANY REASON during term time.

It is important that pupils attend school regularly if they are to benefit from the learning opportunities provided. Students who are absent from school for an extended period in term time miss out on important learning. The time teachers have to help pupils catch up after an absence is limited. Educational experiences in school that are missed as a result of an absence cannot be recaptured later.

What the law says: THERE IS NO LONGER AN ENTITLEMENT IN LAW FOR PUPILS TO TAKE TIME OFF DURING THE ACADEMIC YEAR TO GO ON HOLIDAY The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) regulations 2003 have been amended from September 2013. All references to family holiday and extended leave have been removed, together with the right for parents/carers to apply for up to 10 days holiday in term time. The amendments specify that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are “exceptional circumstances”. The regulations state that Headteachers cannot grant leave of absence to a pupil except where an application has been made in advance and the Headteacher considers there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application. At Debden Park High School “exceptional circumstance” will be: evaluated on a case by case situation.

We will not authorise any absence during term time…  at any time in September. This is very important as your child needs to settle into their new year as quickly as possible. 

We will not authorise any absence during term time… during assessment periods as detailed in the school calendar.

We will not authorise any absence during term time… when a pupil’s attendance record already includes any level of unauthorised absence or if Leave of Absence has been granted within that academic year. 

We will not authorise any absence during term time…where a pupil’s attendance rate is already below 95% or if it will fall below that level as a result of taking leave.

We will not authorsie any absence taken where we believe your child has taken a Leave of Absence and we have not been informed.

Debden Park High School  “strongly urges parents to avoid booking family holidays during term time. Leave for such holidays will not be granted” All other requests for absence will be considered but it is important for parents/carers to be aware that while decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, requests will normally be refused.

What happens if the school does not authorise the absence?

If an absence request is not authorised and the absence is still taken this will remain unauthorised. This record of attendance forms part of your child’s school file and is used for references for post 16 applications. Any leave of absence that has not been authorised may be referred to the Attendance Compliance Team/Local Authority. This can result in the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecution proceedings. A Fixed Penalty notice will be issued to each parent/carer of each child of statutory school age and carries a maximum penalty of £120. If this matter proceeds to court this carries a maximum penalty of £1000 per parent per child and a criminal conviction, which may affect your current, and/or future employment.