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Requests for Term-Time Absences

The Principal has discretionary power to grant a leave of absence, but will only do so in exceptional circumstances. This leave is very unlikely to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday. The school is advised by the Department for Education and Wandsworth Council to actively discourage time off school for family holidays.

Requests for a term-time leave of absence should be made by the parent with whom the child normally resides. This request must be made in writing to the Principal and should be done at least 4 weeks in advance where possible, clearly stating start date and expected date of return and reasons for the request. The Principal will then respond in writing with details of the decision.

In situations where the Principal does not authorise a leave of absence and this is ignored, a referral will be made to Education Welfare Services and the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. This could mean that families will be issued with a penalty notice from the local authority. The local authority has legal responsibility for this, in all types of schools, including academies.

All the evidence suggests that absence from school adversely affects a student’s progress. In the rare cases where a leave of absence is granted, it is the student’s responsibility to collect any work that will be missed from their subject teachers and to complete it before they return to school to ensure they do not fall behind in their studies.