At Penpol School we recognise and appreciate the importance of family holidays. We publish the dates of school terms well ahead to help you plan your holidays and we ask that you please check and ensure that it does not clash with the school term.
We also understand that many families in Cornwall work during the holiday periods and the only opportunity to have a family vacation is during term time.
However, due to Government policies and changes in the law from September 2013, Headteachers are no longer legally allowed to grant leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
It is also worth noting that if your child is absent for an extended period of time it does have a knock on effect on the whole school. Absenteeism is scrutinised by the Local Educational Authority and we are expected to attain an overall annual attendance level of 96%. If attendance is seen to drop below this level without justifiable cause, the school could potentially be faced with an Ofsted inspection which could see the school being put into special measures.
If you have to take your family holiday during school term, please fill in the Leave of Absence Request Form. Please do not assume that you will automatically get permission for the absence because you have filled in the form. Please wait to hear if the Headteacher agrees to your request before booking your holiday.
Planning your holiday
We publish the dates of school terms well ahead. This is to help you plan your holidays. When you book your holiday, please check that it does not clash with the school term.
The value of regular attendance
Your child must attend school regularly, especially to gain qualifications for their future employment. Research shows that pupils perform better if their parents or carers emphasise the importance of attending school.
Your legal responsibilities
You have a legal duty to make sure your child attends school regularly and punctually. The school and the Local Authority monitor your child’s attendance and will take action if it is poor.
Absence for a family holiday
The Government recommends that family holidays are taken outside school terms. Headteachers will sometimes give permission for a pupil to go on holiday during term time. The headteacher will consider the reasons for the holiday, the pupil’s past attendance, and the effects the absence will have on the pupil’s learning. The headteacher will not normally give permission simply because holidays cost less during term time.
Headteachers have the discretion to grant leave, but they should only do so in exceptional circumstances. If a headteacher grants a leave request, it will be for them to determine the length of time that the child can be away from school. This leave is unlikely, however, to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday. Parents can be fined for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school.
Applying for absence because of a family holiday
If you have to take your family holiday during school term, please fill in the form attached. Please do not assume that you will automatically get permission for the absence because you have filled in the form. Please wait to hear if the Headteacher agrees to your request.
If you take your child out of school without permission you will be committing an offence under the Education Act 1996. We may refer the matter to the Education Welfare Service who may decide to prosecute.
A conviction may result in a fine of up to £2,500, a prison sentence of up to three months or both. Alternatively, a penalty notice may be issued under Section 444A and 444B of the Education Act 1996. This carries a fine of £60 if paid within 21 days or £120 if paid after this but within 28 days. Failure to pay the penalty notice will result in Court action.
The Penpol Times
28th September 2017 Dear Parent/Carer The following letter has been composed