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 farming & tourism for it’s income, I know sometimes you need to holiday outside of ‘official’ holiday times. This makes applying the policy difficult for us..
Under normal circumstances 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 or email 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,: Talk Boost, 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.