New rules on taking holiday in school time

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The government has issued new rules about family holidays being taken in term time.

Current rules state that head teachers can grant ten days’ leave a year in special circumstances. Head teachers can also grant extended leave of more than ten days for exceptional circumstances.

But rules that come into force from September 1, 2013, remove references to family holidays and extended leave as well as the threshold of ten days. The regulations will say head teachers can now only grant leave in exceptional circumstances and it is up to them for how long.

In Derbyshire, in the 2011-12 academic year, figures show that there were 78,543 days lost to holidays – out of 11,098,584 days possible. That is 0.66 per cent. Cllr Jim Coyle, Deputy Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “School attendance in Derbyshire is good, above the national average and improving.”

The Department for Education released figures in March showing primary school total absence for the county for 2011/2012 is 4.2 per cent compared to the national average of 4.4 per cent.

Secondary school total absence is down for the seventh year running at 5.7 per cent compared to the national figure of 5.9 per cent.