Attached is a letter from Peter Walker (Devon Local Authority) for you to read regarding schools authorising absences and time away from school. This is the guidance that we get as a school and have to follow. As we are a community which depends on tourism for it’s income, I know sometimes you need to holiday outside of ‘official’ holiday times. This makes applying the policy difficult for SWSF coastal schools.
Under normal circumstances as a Federation we will not authorise holidays during term time.
Whether or not we can authorise holidays which you consider to be ‘exceptional circumstances’ depends on a number of factors. Before you fill out a form or book a holiday please make an appointment to come in to speak to me about the requested absence for your child. During the meeting we will look at:
- Your child’s attendance so far this year – this needs to be above 95%.
- Your child’s attendance last year – if they are lower than 95% we will examine the impact on their progress through school.
- Your child’s academic attainment and progress throughout their time at school – your child needs to be on track in their learning as time away from school will be more detrimental to their learning.
- Whether or not your child will be in the middle of an intervention at the time of the holiday – if they are doing an intervention to address a specific need, for example, Numbers Count I will not be able to authorise an absence as the intervention is costly to the school and your child may not be able to do it again.
- The time of the year the intended absence occurs – There are key times of the year when we will not allow absence like assessment week in May.
- Whether or not the reason for absence is exceptional.
If you do not arrange a meeting the absence or holiday will not be authorised.
Cost as a factor in booking a holiday is not considered to be an exceptional circumstance.
I hope this helps explain the process which we use to determine authorisation of holidays in SWSF schools. We will always try to be sympathetic to your needs as a family, however, as a school we must put your child’s educational needs first.