For many years parents in England have had the right to remove children from school in order for the children to go on a family holiday, or for exceptional circumstances.
This right was embedded in the The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006.
However the Coalition government is changing these regulations and are issuing the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013.
These amendments, as described below, will come into force on 1 September 2013.
The old regulations allow headteachers to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday during term time in “special circumstances” of up to ten school days leave per year. Headteachers can also grant extended leave for more than ten school days in exceptional circumstances.
The Coalition Government’s amendments to the 2006 regulations remove references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days.
The amendments also make clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Headteachers are required to determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.