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Leave in Term Time

The Department for Education guidance on leave of absences during term time can be found here.


You have to get permission from the head teacher if you want to take your child out of school during term time.​ You can only do this if:

  • you make an application to the head teacher in advance (as a parent the child normally lives with)

  • there are exceptional circumstances

It’s up to the head teacher how many days your child can be away from school if leave is granted.

​You can be fined for taking your child on holiday during term time without the school’s permission.

Legal Action to Enforce School Attendance

Local councils and schools can use various legal powers if your child is missing school without a good reason. They can give you:

  • ​a Parenting Order

  • an Education Supervision Order

  • a School Attendance Order

  • a fine (sometimes known as a ‘penalty notice’)​

You can be given one or more of these but the council does not have to do this before prosecuting you.

In this section

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