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Procedures for Holidays in Term Time


Policy and Procedures for dealing with holidays in term time.

Westmorland Primary does not authorise holidays in term time except in exceptional circumstances.



Many school sessions are missed as a result of holidays taken in term time. At Westmorland we believe that holidays in term time are undesirable because of the impact on our pupil’s education. Research shows that there is a big link between levels of attendance and levels of achievement. This policy has been designed to ensure that all parents and carers are fully informed of the school’s procedures and are treated in a fair and consistent manner.

This policy has been designed in accordance with government guidance and guidance from Stockport LA.


The legal position:

 Parents have no right to leave of absence for holidays in term time. However, schools have the power to grant absence for holidays of up to 10 days, in special circumstances.


Special circumstances include:

1. Employees who are prevented from taking holidays outside of term time (if the holiday will have minimal disruption on the child’s education.)

2. Where a family needs to spend time together to support each other during or after a crisis.


 Holidays will not be authorised for the following reasons as they are not special circumstances:

1. Availability of cheaper holidays.

2. Wherever pupils normally have good attendance.

3. Availability of accommodation.

4. Overlap with beginning or end of term.


In summary, it will be rare for term time holidays to be approved unless there are special circumstances.


  •  A letter reminding parents about the policy on term time holidays will be sent out each April, along with the agreed INSET days and holidays for the following academic year.
  •  It is advised that requests for holidays in term time should be put in writing, to the head teacher, before booking a holiday.
  •  School will respond to requests within 5 days.
  •  Letters from school will make parents/carers aware that choosing to take the holiday without permission will lead to unauthorised absences being recorded and therefore the possibility of some form of sanction.
  •  A copy of the original letter and the response from school will be dated and added to a child’s individual file/records. These will be photocopied for siblings.


Education Penalty notices (EPNs):

  •  If a family continue to take an unauthorised holiday, a request for an EPN will be sent to the EWO service along with a copy of the register sheet showing the absence as ‘G’ and copies of the letters from parents and school.
  •  The EWO service will normally issue EPNs where there are 10 consecutive sessions (i.e. 5 days) of unauthorised holiday absence.
  •  The fixed penalty fines are £50 per parent for each pupil, rising to £100 if unpaid within 28 days