Absence during term time

You can find out when it is acceptable for your child to miss school on the government school attendance and absence pages.

If your child needs to have time off school because of illness or medical appointments, you should always contact the school and follow their procedures. Only your child's school can authorise an absence from school. Information on how to report your child’s absence can be found in the school's attendance policy.

If you wish to apply to take your child out of school during term time, you need to ensure you follow the procedures explained in the school's attendance policy. Head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The head teacher will determine if there are exceptional circumstances relating to your application and inform you whether your request for leave of absence has been granted. If you do not ask for or get permission to take your child out of school and do so regardless, your child's absence will be recorded as unauthorised.

Penalties for unauthorised absence

If you take your child out of school and the absence is not agreed by the head teacher, this will be recorded as unauthorised absence. The school will then notify us and you may face a Fixed Penalty Notice and/or other legal action. The Fixed Penalty Notice is £60 per parent per child which rises to £120 per parent per child if not paid within 21 days. There is no appeal against a Fixed Penalty Notice. Failure to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice may lead to legal proceedings under the Education Act 1996 section 444(1).

A 'parent' is defined in Section 576 of the Education Act 1996, as including all natural parents, including those who are not married; any person who has parental responsibility and any person who has care of a child.

View the penalty notice code of conduct