From the 1st September 2013, parents no longer have any entitlement to take their child on holiday during the school term and headteachers have lost their dispensation to authorise such holidays, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
The Government have issued a list of exceptional circumstances which are as follows:
- family need arising from service in the armed forces or from a parent working abroad;
- family bereavements;
- exceptional family ceremonies;
- a holiday necessitated due to a disability or illness in the family.
School have been advised that the cost of holidays or parents’ work rotas can no longer be considered exceptional circumstances.
From September 2013, parents will be required to write to the headteacher to request any leave of absence. Parents are asked to give as much notice as possible and to include in the letter as much detail as possible including the reason for absence. Under the new legislation parents could be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice. The amount of the fine is £60 if paid within 21 days and £120 if paid between 21 and 28 days.