Holidays in Term Time

Attendance and Holidays During Term Time

In order to reach their highest potential, we feel that constant, punctual attendance to school is vital.  Research has proven that even short breaks from school can reduce a pupil’s chances of succeeding by as much as a quarter.  The research is based on extensive pupil absence figures and both GCSE and primary school test results, and it highlights the importance of clamping down on pupil absence to ensure more pupils regularly attend school, and ultimately leave with the qualifications needed to succeed in modern Britain.

This research shows where pupils miss up to just 14 days of school are a quarter, they are less likely to achieve the required level or above in reading, writing or maths tests than those with no absence.  The research also highlights the striking differences in achievement between pupils with the best and worst attendance records. It shows:

  • pupils with the lowest 5% of absence rates were more than 4 times more likely to achieve 5 good GCSEs, including English and maths, and 22 times more likely to achieve the English Baccalaureate, than pupils with the highest 5% of absence rates
  • pupils with no absence from school were nearly 3 times more likely to achieve 5 A* to C GCSEs, including English and maths, and around 10 times more likely to achieve the English Baccalaureate, than pupils missing 15 to 20% of school across key stage 4
  • And, most relevant to us, primary school pupils with no absence were around 1.5 times more likely to achieve the expected level of attainment, and 4.5 times more likely to exceed the expected level of attainment, than pupils that missed 15 to 20% of key stage 2

The government’s plan for education includes a number of reforms to encourage good behaviour and attendance in school, including:

  • changing the law so that headteachers only grant leave from school in exceptional circumstances
  • encouraging schools to tackle the problem of persistent absence earlier by reducing the threshold by which absence is defined as persistent from 20% to 15% from October 2011 - this means schools are held to a higher standard in performance tables than before
  • making clear teachers can use ‘reasonable force’ to maintain behaviour and extending their searching powers from 2011

As a consequence of this, we are unable to authorise any holidays during term time, unless there are exceptional circumstances. 

We follow the regulations as set out by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council.  You can view them here.   If you wish to request a leave of absence, please contact the school office.  We would strongly recommend that you do this before planning any leave of absence.  You will then be given a holiday request form. This request should be made by the parent or carer with whom the child lives.  This is the case even where it is another person who wishes to take the child out of school.  You will then receive a reply from the headteacher within a 14 days, which will dictate whether your request has been authorised or unauthorised.

If the absence has not been authorised, but you remove your child from school, the absences will be marked in the school register as unauthorised absences.  This may result in fixed penalty fines of £60 (rising to £120) per parent per child being issued by the Local Authority.  In some cases, parents may be prosecuted for the offence of failure to ensure regular school attendance.