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Absence & Holidays


At Harwood Meadows School, we work very hard to help your child learn and achieve well.  To do this, we need you to help us in many ways.  The most important way to help and support your child is to ensure that he or she attends school. There are many reasons for this:


  • good attendance means that your child will be able to get the most out of school and make the most of the opportunities offered to them;
  • it will ensure that there are no gaps in their learning.  This will mean that the important foundations for future learning will be strong;
  • there are approximately 175 days of non-school time.  Please make every effort to use this time to book holidays and visit friends and family.  It is important for your child to be at school so that they can achieve and attain well;
  • children who have good attendance generally achieve better than those who do not.  They are able to make and sustain strong relationships and have a better understanding that school is important.


Schools have received clear instructions from the Government stating the following: 


‘Amendments have been made to the 2006 regulations removing references to family holidays and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days.  The amendments made clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time, unless there are exceptional circumstances. These amendments come into force on 1st September 2013.’


Parents failing to comply with school attendance regulations by taking their child(ren) out of school may be issued with a Penalty Notice from the Local Authority.  The fine per parent, per child will be £60 if paid within 21 days and £120 if paid within 28 days.  Failure to pay the Penalty Notice will result in further prosecution through the Courts.


Our school, while acknowledging that each family’s circumstances are different, is dedicated to the education of all our pupils and believes regular attendance through the year is essential to every child’s success and fulfilment.  A request for an absence is considered on its merits at the time and many variables are taken into consideration.