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01946 372656


Postal Address:
Lowca Community School,
CA28 6QS.

Leave of absence in school term time

We advise that wherever possible, absence from school should be avoided as it can have a serious effect on your child’s educational progress, and can create difficulties for them on their return to school, particularly if they are joining a new school or class.

Below is an excerpt from Cumbria County Council’s advice letter for parents/ guardians thinking about booking holidays within school term times:

Clarification from Cumbria County Council regarding Leave of Absence during term time

  • Leave of absence during term time will only be granted under exceptional circumstances.
  • The law does not grant parents an automatic right to take their child out of school during term time. The Department for Education allows a Head Teacher the discretion to consider authorising a leave of absence in term time only in “exceptional circumstances”.
  • No Holidays taken during term time will be authorised.
  • The law states that the provision for Head Teachers to authorise absence purely for the purpose of a family holiday is not an exceptional circumstance.
  • We define ‘exceptional circumstances’ as an event or problem which you did not expect.
  • The school considers each application for term-time absence individually, taking into account the specific facts, circumstances and relevant context behind the request. A leave of absence is granted entirely at the Head Teacher’s discretion.

Valid reasons for exceptional circumstances / authorised absence may include:

  • Illness and medical/dental appointments or where an absence from school is recommended by a health professional as part of a parent or child’s rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issue.
  • Service personnel returning from a tour of duty abroad where it is evidenced the individual will not be in receipt of any leave in the near future that coincides with school holidays.
  • Religious observance – where the day is exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which the pupil’s parents belong. If necessary, the school will seek advice from the parents’ religious body to confirm whether the day is set apart.
  • Traveller pupils travelling for occupational purposes – this covers Roma, English and Welsh Gypsies, Irish and Scottish Travellers, Showmen (fairground people) and Circus people, Bargees (occupational boat dwellers) and New Travellers. Absence may be authorised only when a Traveller family is known to be travelling for occupational purposes and has agreed this with the school but it is not known whether the pupil is attending educational provision
  • Bereavement, unexpected personal or family problems or illness might be considered as an exceptional circumstance.
  • To attend a wedding of a person close to the family – up to 1 day.