Term time absence

2. What the law says

It is sometimes thought that parents have a right to take children out of school for up to ten days a year for the purpose of taking holidays - this is a myth. There has never been a right to remove children from school for the purpose of a holiday at all.

In 2013 the Government took further steps to discourage holidays in term time. It passed legislation abolishing the right of schools to authorise up to ten days a year specifically for holidays if special circumstances exist.

This means that leave of absence for any reason - including for holidays - can only be granted if the school is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist.

Even then, schools may still refuse to give permission - for example, if your child has a poor attendance record, or, if the proposed leave of absence is at a particularly important time, such as in the run up to exams or at the start of a new school year.