Please be aware that despite conflicting judgments throughout the country, Bristol City Council are issuing Penalty Notices for unauthorised absences of 4 days and more. If you want to request leave during term time, please come into the office for a leave of absence form.
Leave of Absence Request
As per current regulations and DfE advice on school attendance (2013) I would like to advise you that I am unable to grant any leave of absence during term time unless exceptional circumstances exist. By exceptional I mean rare, significant, unavoidable and short. By unavoidable, I mean an event that could not reasonably be arranged at another time.
Term times are for education, and children and families have 175 days off school to spend time together, including weekends and school holidays.
The school will assess each request on an individual basis, considering the impact that missing school will have on the child’s education, their previous record of attendance and any special circumstances of which we are made aware. You may also be required to attend a meeting to discuss the request.
If an absence request is granted, it will be recorded as ‘authorised absence’. If a parent/carer takes their child out of school without permission this will count as an ‘unauthorised absence’ (truancy). Penalty notices or other legal sanctions can be issued to parents/carers of children with unauthorised absence.
Penalty notices are issued to each parent/carer of each child. The amount is £60 if paid within 21 days, rising to £120 if paid between 22-28 days. If the penalty notice is not paid the parent/carer may be prosecuted for the offence of failing to ensure their child’s regular attendance at school.
The request for leave must be made at least 2 full weeks in advance using the form available at the school office. In an emergency situation you must contact the school office immediately to make an appointment with me. Retrospective requests will not be considered.
The school may consider any leave of absence request as a potential safeguarding risk in line with the school’s policy.
Any absence will result in lost learning and the risk of underachievement. I am sure you will support the school in maximising attendance and giving your child the best opportunity for future success.
Yours in partnership,
Mr Mike McNama