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NAHT Northern Ireland

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NAHT Northern Ireland represents principals and vice-principals in around two-thirds of 1,150 schools in Northern Ireland. NAHT Northern Ireland provide advice, training and support for its members on a range of issues faced by senior leaders in schools. Along with our colleagues in England and Wales, we are there to defend and extend the rights of school leaders.  

NAHT NI is democratic and member-led, and supported by its Belfast-based team of staff alongside their colleagues based in both Wales and England.

NAHT Northern Ireland
Carnmoney House
Edgewater Office Park

Belfast
BT3 9JQ

nahtni@naht.org.uk
02890 776633 

Guidance on authorised term-time pupil absence

 
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On matters relating to term-time pupil absences, the Education (pupil registration) (England) (amendment) Regulations 2013, which came into force on 1 September 2013, removed all references to ‘family holidays’ and ‘extended leave’ as well as the ‘notional threshold of 10 school days’. 

The 2013 amendments made it clear that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless ‘exceptional circumstances’ prevail. 

The regulations also state that head teachers should determine the number of school days a pupil can be away from school if they grant a leave request because of ‘exceptional circumstances’. 

 

We believe the guidelines in this document are compatible with the amendments and help to clarify the meaning of ‘exceptional circumstances’; they do not change it. Head teachers can authorise a pupil’s absence during term time, but the merits of such a request are now required to be exceptional. 

 
First published 15 May 2021
 

Recent consultations and other documents

NITC joint letter to management side

The five teacher unions in Northern Ireland, including NAHT(NI), wrote to the employers seeking additional payment to school leaders and teaching staff who worked significant additional hours during summer 2021 in order to ensure this work was recognised.

 

Consultation on deferring school starting age: NAHT(NI) draft response

We are concerned at the advancement of this proposal as the evidential basis for this consultation is highly limited. We contend that the current proposal should be retracted. The proposal fails to reflect the experience of pupils, school leaders, parents and the whole school community. Given the significance of this potential policy change, it is essential that the perspectives of all stakeholders are considered. We know that members are operating in a business-critical environment and will have limited or no time to engage with consultation exercises, however, we encourage members to consider responding to this important consultation and copy our response to complete your individual response.

 

Previous consultation responses and statements

First published 08 April 2020