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Exceptional Leave

Attendance - Exceptional Leave


The 2013 amendments made it clear that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term-time unless ‘exceptional circumstances’ prevail. The regulations also state that head teachers should determine the number of school days a pupil can be away from school in the event that leave is granted for ‘exceptional circumstances’.

If you require Exceptional Leave:

Please visit the School Office to collect an Exceptional Leave Request form which must be completed in full.  Please DO NOT book flight tickets/arrange travel until the headteacher has reviewed your Exceptional Leave form.

Should your Exceptional Leave request be unauthorised and you still decide to go, you will be invited to meet with Mr Boulter and another member of the Attendance Team to discuss this further. We will ask that you bring proof of travel, medical information etc. Unauthorised Exceptional Leave could result in a Fixed Penalty Fine, and your child could lose their school place.


Guidelines for Exceptional Leave

  • The decision to authorise a pupil’s absence is wholly at the head teacher’s discretion based on the pupil’s attendance, attainment and merits of each request.
  • It is acceptable to take a pupil’s record of attendance into account when making absence related decisions.
  • It is important to note that the head teachers can determine the length of the authorised absence as well as as whether a particular absence can be authorised.
  • If an event or leave can be reasonably scheduled outside of term-time then it would be not normal to authorise absence for such an event – holidays are therefore not considered as ‘exceptional circumstances’.
  • Absence to visit seriously-ill relatives or for a bereavement of close family member are usually considered to amount to ‘exceptional circumstances’, but for the funeral service only, not for extended leave.
  • Absences for important religious observances are often taken into account but only for the ceremony and travelling time, again, not for extended leave. This is intended for one-off situation rather than regular or recurring events.


For more information please click on the documents below.