Family Holidays During Term Time
The law says that parents/carers do not
have a legal right to take their child out of school for holidays
in term time.
However, schools can allow parents/carers to take their child
out of school providing there are special
circumstances for the request and an application is made in advance
by the parent/carer with whom the child normally resides. Only in
exceptional circumstances will more than 10 school
days absence be granted in any school year.
If you take a holiday without the school’s permission
or if your child fails to return by the agreed date, this will be
recorded as unauthorised absence and noted on your child’s records.
If your child has not returned within 10 days of the expected date
of return, then the school may take your child off roll, after
consultation with the Local Authority.
The school may also ask the Education Welfare Service
to consider a Penalty Notice. The Penalty Notice is £50 if paid
within 28 days or £100 if paid after 28 days but within 42 days. If
you do not pay a Penalty Notice, you will be prosecuted in
What schools can do
Each school has a policy on granting term-time
holiday. When deciding whether to allow time off, the school will
- If there are special
circumstances for the request
- The time of year you want the holiday
- How long the holiday will be and how much it
will disrupt your child’s education
- Previous similar requests
- Your child’s attendance record
Schools will take into account government guidance
when considering what are special circumstances.
Holiday requests for the following reasons are not considered to be
- Availability of cheap holidays
- Availability of desired accommodation
- Poor weather experienced in school holiday
- Overlapping with beginning or end of term
What parents/carers can do
You should request time off for your child as soon as
possible and always before the holiday. However please do not
expect the school to grant your request unless there are
special circumstances. It is important to
carefully consider the implications of taking your child out
of school during term time. There are 190 statutory school days a
year; so there are 175 other days (weekends and school holidays)
available for holidays which would not have a negative effect on
your child’s education. By taking your child on holiday in term
time you may be giving them an unspoken message that school doesn’t
matter. Some children find it difficult to renew friendships with
other pupils when they return to school.
If the school grants a holiday in term time due to
special circumstances, please discuss with the
Headteacher how you will help your child to catch up with the
missing hours of education lost (50 hours for a full 10 days
Especially avoid taking your child out of
- Close to or during examinations
- When valuable group work with other pupils is
taking place that cannot be repeated
- If your child needs help in certain subjects to
access all the education support that is offered
- During the induction week when your child
transfers from one school to another and needs to familiarise
themselves with the new school layout
- During the first year in a new school when
pupils may experience problems settling in
Where Can you contact Us?
For further details please click here.
Alternatively you can contact your schools for the
telephone number of your Education Welfare Officer.