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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