Isle of Wight Council

Attendance at School

Family holidays and school holidays

Children have 13 weeks annual holiday from school and school holiday dates are published well in advance online. As such, all parents/carers are expected wherever possible to plan and take their family holidays at this time so as not to disrupt their children’s education.

Education law states that parents do not have a right to take their child out of school for a holiday during term time.

Parents have a duty to ensure their child’s regular attendance at school and failure to do so is an offence under Section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996.

As a family holiday is not an exceptional circumstance it will be referred to the Local Authority as an unauthorised absence, which may result in a Truancy Penalty Notice (TPN) being issued per parent, per child or Prosecution under Section 444 Education Act for failure to secure regular attendance at school.

Please note that for absences in excess of 10 days (20 sessions) prosecution under Section 444 Education Act 1996 may be considered, in accordance with the Isle of Wight Council Code of Conduct.

If a Truancy Penalty Notice remains unpaid, legal action may be taken against you.

Only in exceptional circumstances may a headteacher grant permission for leave; and it is the headteachers decision on whether the absence is exceptional and how many days to approve.