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Cotmanhay Junior School

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Holidays during term time

Holidays during term time

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Children do not attend school for 13 weeks of the year. Please arrange family holidays during this time, as the school cannot authorise term time leave for pupils.

Holidays in term time will not be routinely authorised

The law gives no entitlement to parents or carers to take their child on holiday during term time and you have to get permission from the Head Teacher.

You can be fined for taking your child on holiday during term time without the school’s permission.

Should you wish to do so, you should submit a request in writing to the Head Teacher at least 4 weeks in advance. Such requests are not usually authorised, except in exceptional circumstances and it’s up to the Head Teacher how many days your child can be away from school if leave is granted. This is normally never more than 5 days.

In line with local and national Government guidance, the school does not class routine family holidays as exceptional.

The following circumstances are also not considered exceptional:

  • Family weddings
  • Parents or carers patterns of work, including holiday patterns, unless they are a member of the armed services
  • Reduced costs or decisions relating to finance of holidays during term time
  • Renewal of passports or visas overseas

‘Exceptional circumstances’ are considered rare, significant, unavoidable and short, and any resulting absence from school could not reasonably be scheduled at another time.

It is particularly important that children do not miss the start of terms due to extended holidays, especially in September, as this can be particularly disruptive and unsettling for children.

Parents and carers can be issue with a Fixed Penalty Notice fine from Derbyshire County Council if they take their child out of school during term time without authorisation from the school. The fine is currently £60 per child, per parent if paid within 21 days and £120 if paid between 22 and 28 days. Failure to pay the fine could lead to prosecution in Magistrate’s Court.

The school fully appreciates that there are a number of reasons why a family may seek a holiday during term time, including the financial difficulties that some parents face when booking holidays during school holidays. However, the Local Authority continues to monitor all school absences and will challenge all schools and parents that do not adhere to Government legislation. They do this to secure improved attendance and educational achievement for all children.

Further information on this matter is available at the Department for Education’s website:

Should you need to discuss holidays during term time or fixed penalty notices you should contact Mark Watson (Senior Assistant Head Teacher) or Debbie Lynam (School Attendance Officer) via the school office on 0115 932 2011.

Leave of absence request form