Skip to content ↓

Term Dates

For term dates 2023-24 and 2024-25, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

If, during the course of the year, you request time off during term time, please read the following information before submitting a request.  Headteachers can only authorise absence for exceptional circumstances.

Exceptional Circumstances – A Guidance for Parents

The information below is designed to help parents understand how and when leave of absence in exceptional circumstances may be granted.  The decision to authorise absence is at the headteacher’s discretion based on their assessment of the situation. Circumstances vary from school to school and so there can be no absolute rules on this subject. Term times are for education. They are set in advance because this is the priority. Children and families have 175 days off school to spend time together, including weekends and school holidays. Headteachers will rightly prioritise attendance.

Generally, absences will not be granted during term time and will only be authorised by the headteacher in exceptional circumstances. Penalty Notices for term time leave are issued based on information and referrals received from schools.  The Local Authority cannot override the decision made by the Headteacher to unauthorise the absence. If you have any reasons to believe the Penalty Notice should not have been issued please contact the school within 10 working days. There is no statutory right of appeal against the issuing of a Penalty Notice.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What are exceptional circumstances?

Exceptional circumstances are one off events which are unavoidable. Examples may include the death of a close relative, attendance at a funeral, respite care of a looked-after child, a housing crisis which prevents attendance.  

What happens if I am a self-employed worker, or an employee with fixed holiday dates, or on a holiday rota set by my employer?

It is advisable for parents to discuss this with their child’s school prior to making any arrangements for absence during school term times. Legislation no longer allows headteachers to authorise 10 days absence from school for a term-time holiday. If you are self-employed, then you are able to select when you take your annual leave.

We want to go on a trip of a lifetime. Could this be an authorised absence?

No, this would constitute a family holiday. Headteachers cannot authorise term-time holidays, unless they accept the reason for leave of absence is exceptional.  

I have a significant number of relatives abroad and may need to spend an extended period in another country. Could this be an authorised absence?

Headteachers are bound by law to discourage families from taking trips during term time, whatever the reason given.