Dates of school terms for the academic year 2019/20
Autumn term 2019
  • Term begins on Monday 2 September 2019
  • Term ends on Friday 20 December 2019
  • Half term: Monday 28 October – Friday 1 November 2019
Spring term 2020
  • Term begins on Monday 6 January 2020
  • Term ends on Friday 3 April 2020
  • Half term: Monday 17 February – Friday 21 February 2020
Summer term 2020
  • Term begins on Monday 20 April 2020
  • Term ends on Wednesday 22 July 2020
  • Half term: Monday 25 May to Friday 29 May 2020
  • May Bank Holiday: 8 May 2019
  • Spring Bank Holiday: Monday 25 May 2020

Regular and punctual attendance at school is vital to ensure continuity of your child’s education.  Any absence from school must be explained by a letter from the parent on the pupil’s return to school.  Parents are asked to note the following information:

Authorised Absences

Under section 1 of the Education Act 1993, a pupil’s absence may be treated as unauthorised if not covered by the following:

  • By reason of sickness or any unavoidable cause
  • On a day exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which his or her parents belong
  • With leave granted by a person (e.g. the Headteacher) authorised to do so by the Governing Body of the school

According to the DFEE circular 11/91, there are other circumstances in which the Headteacher might reasonably exercise discretion to grant leave, including:

  • Following the death of a member of the child’s close family
  • When attending an interview with another educational establishment
  • When attending an unavoidable medical or dental appointment
Leave of Absence

Head teachers should only authorise leave of absence in exceptional circumstances. If a head teacher grants a leave request, it will be for the head teacher to determine the length of time that the child can be away from school. Leave is unlikely, however, to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday as a norm.

Head teachers should not grant leave of absence unless in exceptional circumstances. The application must be made in advance and the head teacher must be satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances which warrant the leave. Where a leave of absence is granted, the head teacher will determine the number of days a pupil can be away from school. A leave of absence is granted entirely at the head teacher’s discretion.

If a school does not authorise a leave of absence for the purpose of a holiday but the parents still take the child out of school, or the child is kept away for longer than was agreed, the absence is unauthorised. The regulations do not allow schools to give retrospective approval. If the parents did not apply for leave of absence in advance, the absence must be recorded as unauthorised.

Parents have a legal duty to make sure that their child aged 5-16, if registered at a school, attends that school regularly. If taking an unauthorised term time holiday is grounds for issuing a penalty notice according to the local authority’s code, and if the leave of absence for holiday was not authorised by the school, either the school or the local authority may issue a penalty notice.

School attendance – Statutory guidance and departmental advice DfE August 2013

Rates of authorised and unauthorised absence for pupils of compulsory school age 2018 – 2019:

  • The total number of registered pupils of compulsory school age on roll for at least one session of the reporting period to the Friday before the last Monday in May = 903
  • Total number on roll, including 6th Form = 1127
  • Percentage of half days (sessions) attended throughout the period =  95.9%
  • Percentage of half days (sessions) missed through authorised absence = 3.4%
  • Percentage of half days (sessions) missed through unauthorised absence = 0.7%