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Term Time Holidays

It is well recognised that good, consistent attendance at school is crucial to a child or young person’s future prospects and reducing absence from school continues to be a priority for our school. Reflecting national concerns around attendance, the Department for Education issued revised guidance in September 2013 strengthening the view that as a general rule, children should not be taken out of school for the purposes of a holiday.Time off school for family holidays is not a right and headteachers no longer have the authority to grant a leave of absence for this purpose unless there are exceptional circumstances.


At Hepworth Junior and Infant School, along with the Holmfirth Family of Schools, exceptional circumstances when leave of absence of up to 5 days may be considered are:

  • for service personnel and other employees who are prevented from taking holidays outside term-time if the holiday will have minimal disruption to the pupil's education (acknowledgement from the employer/employing body that the holiday cannot be taken during the school holidays must be included with the request)
  • when a family needs to spend time together to support each other during or after a crisis.
  • significant close family occasions for example weddings
  • faith or heritage reasons

All requests from parents for leave of absence must be made in writing to the school in advance, at least two weeks prior to the holiday being booked, The request should be sent for the attention of the Headteacher and can be emailed to: office@hepworthschool.co.uk. It should outline the specific reasons why the request meets the requirements of “special circumstances”. When making the decision as to whether to authorise this absence the Headteacher will take into consideration current attendance.

The school will NOT authorise holidays which are requested for the following reasons:

  • availability of cheap holidays
  • availability of the desired accommodation
  • poor weather experienced in school holiday periods
  • overlap with beginning or end of term

The Head teacher will determine if the request is reasonable. School will NOT approve any term time holiday in the following instances:

  • During statutory  Statutory Assessment Test (SATS) periods. These include Y6 SATs, Y2 SATs and Y1 phonic tests
  • In the month of September

Where leave of absences are taken without proper authorisation, the schools may respond as follows:

  • The absence will be treated as unauthorised and recorded as such
  • Parents can be given a Kirklees Penalty Notice or prosecuted for periods of unauthorised holidays. The penalty notice is currently £60 per parent per child if paid within 21 days or £120 within 28 days.
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