Whenever a child is absent from school the parent should:

  • Where possible let the school know in advance of any planned absences e.g. medical appointments. Please email the school office with this information.
  • If your child is ill contact the school as soon as possible on the first day of absence by leaving a message on the absence line or via email: If no notification of absence is received; the school office will contact the parents to ascertain the reason;
  • Where possible make medical/dental appointments out of school hours.

Request for term time leave

If you do need to apply for a term time leave, please use the following form.

Please make your request prior to making any bookings and at least four weeks before the anticipated leave date. 

What the law says

Amendments to the 2006 regulations were made by the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 and came into force on 1 September 2013.

The amendments made it clear that Headteachers may only grant leave of absence during term time for exceptional circumstances.

Any request for leave must be made in writing to the Headteacher in advance.

There is no formal definition offered for exceptional leave at present by the Department for Education.

It is suggested that exceptional leave would be:

  • Rare
  • Significant
  • Unavoidable
  • Short 

Somerset County Council (SCC) supports schools:

In expecting parents and carers to make sure that children and young people attend school regularly. Any absence from school will impact on educational achievement, success in later life and longer term health and well being

In ensuring the law is upheld. Parents and carers are committing an offence if they fail to ensure the regular and punctual attendance of their child at the school where they are on roll.

Taking a child on holiday in term time interrupts the learning of the whole class and teachers have to spend time helping children catch up when they return. Parents should arrange holidays during the 13 week school holiday periods. Schools are open 190 days which leaves 175 days of the year for holidays.

Elmhurst flowchart for attendance

There has been much in the news recently about term time leave and attendance. In order to help clarify Elmhurst’s policy, we have created a helpful flow chart to explain what MAY happen if attendance becomes a concern. We believe that once attendance falls below 96% it requires improvement. 


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