Written Statement - Clarification on school
attendance regulations in Wales relating to holidays in term time and fixed
Last updated 11 December 2014
Huw Lewis, Minister for
Education and Skills
notices for regular non-attendance at school and holidays during term time have
proved emotive for parents and schools alike. I therefore felt it
necessary to re-emphasise the Welsh Government’s position on this issue.
Good school attendance is key to helping children have the best possible start
in life and maximise their potential, both in terms of academic achievement and
future employability. There is clear evidence which links attendance and
Parents do not have an automatic right
to withdraw pupils from school for a holiday during term time.
However, there may be circumstances that warrant a pupil taking time off in
term time and this is why head teachers are best placed to make the
decision. The Education (Pupil Registration) (Wales) Regulations 2010
state that head teachers have a
discretionary power to authorise leave for a family holiday during term time
where parents seek permission. Except for exceptional circumstances,
no more than 10 days’ leave should be granted for this purpose.
A head teacher should consider individual circumstances on a case-by-case
basis. A number of aspects will be taken into account, including the time of
year, length and purpose of the holiday, impact on continuity of learning,
timing of exams or tests, circumstances of the family and the wishes of
parents, as well as the overall attendance and attainment of the child.
If a head teacher decides not to grant a parent’s request for a holiday in term
time, but the parent takes the child on holiday regardless, this is classed as
an 'unauthorised’ absence.
The Education (Penalty Notice) (Wales) Regulations 2013 state that penalty
notices are issued for failing to regularly attend school, that is, regular
Parents of children attending the Hollies School
are required to submit a written request
to the Head Teacher who will consider all relevant information and make a judgment
to whether the holiday can be authorised.