Holidays Taken During Term Time

Dear Parent/Carer,

I’m sure that you are aware that attendance is a national and local priority in Wales.

The six directors within the South West and Mid Wales Education Consortium, which includes Powys have taken the decision that all absences due to pupils being taken on holiday during term time should be deemed to be unauthorised by schools.

The link between good attendance and high standards is a very strong one and as such, the Directors are eager to encourage high attendance rates and to discourage holidays being taken during term time. Therefore the decision has been taken that all absences due to holidays should not be authorised by any Headteachers within the six Local Authorities in the South West and Mid Wales Consortium from September 2013.

Taking a holiday during term time means that children miss important school time – both educationally and for other school activities. It will be difficult for them to catch up on work they have missed. In a busy school day, it is difficult for schools to find the extra time to help a child catch up and it’s not only the academic work but also missing out on the social side of school life can also impact on pupils’ wellbeing.

There is plenty of educational research which links pupil attainment with attendance. 90% attendance at school equates to ½ day a week missed. This would be 4 weeks missed over the school year.

Parents do not have a legal right to take children out of school on holiday, and although previously authorisation of this absence had been the discretion of the school, this decision means that absence due to holidays during term time cannot be authorised.

Yours sincerely,

Jackie Parker