Absences from School

If your child is absent from school due to illness, please ring school on the first day of absence to inform us of the reason. If your child is absent for more than one day we also require a letter when they return to school.

We ask parents to try to avoid appointments during the school day whenever possible. If your child does need to attend an appointment, please provide us with details in writing.

For any other absences please complete a Leave of Absence Request Form, which can be downloaded below or collected from the school office.


Holidays in Term Time

Please note that absences will only be approved in exceptional circumstances.

After illness, the taking of holidays in term time is the single largest cause of absence from schools in England. At Torkington we believe that holidays in term time are undesirable because of the impact on our pupils’ education, and we encourage parents always to take family holidays in the school holidays.

Research has shown that there is a clear link between levels of attendance and levels of achievement and that, in short, the more time a pupil misses school, the lower their levels of achievement are likely to be.

Taking holidays in term time has a disruptive effect upon pupils’ learning and it is often difficult for pupils to catch up with work that has been missed. It may also suggest to some pupils that their education is not an important priority.

Headteachers have a limited discretion to authorize up to ten days of absence for holidays a year or, exceptionally, longer. However, the legislation and guidance from the Department for children, Schools and Families make it clear that schools should only approve holidays exceptionally and only if satisfied that special circumstances apply which outweigh the harmful impact upon the particular pupil’s education. As a result, it will be rare for holidays to be approved.

If you wish to request permission for a term time holiday please complete and return a Leave of Absence Form at least four weeks before the start of the proposed holiday.

Please be aware that holidays taken without permission may lead to fixed penalty fines of up to £120 per parent for each pupil being issued by the Local Authority.

Changes from September 2024

When children miss school for term time holidays not only do they miss out on important learning but they often take time to settle back into their learning routines. The government is strengthening the rules around Education Penalty Notices. These are fixed
penalty fines which can be issued by the Local Authority where 10 or more sessions (5 days) of unauthorised absence take place.
They are most commonly issued to parents when a child misses school for an term time holiday taken without the permission of the school.

The new stronger rules will apply to all offences taking place after August 2024.

  •  For the first fine issued after the start of the 24-25 school year, the fine will increase to £80 per parent per child if paid within 21 days, or £160 if paid within 28 days.
  •  If a second fine is then issued to the same parent for the same child within three years of the first fine it will be for £160.
  •  Subsequent offences - no further fines can then be issued if two have already been issued to the same parent for the same child within the previous three years (starting with the date of the first fine); instead the parent will be prosecuted by the Local Authority in the Magistrates’ Court.

It’s therefore more important than ever that parents arrange to take family holidays in the school holidays and not in term time.


Downloadable Documents

Leave of Absence Form