School Absence Request Fill out the template

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School Absence Request

Last revision Last revision 23/04/2024
Formats FormatsWord and PDF
Size Size1 page
Fill out the template

Last revisionLast revision: 23/04/2024

FormatsAvailable formats: Word and PDF

SizeSize: 1 page

Option: Help from a lawyer

Fill out the template

What is a school absence request?

A school absence request will be used by a parent or guardian in the United Kingdom to formally request authorisation for their child's absence from school.


Is it mandatory to make a school absence request?

Yes, a parent or guardian should always seek authorisation if they intend to take their child out of school during school hours/term-time. A parent can be subjected to sanctions if they fail to obtain proper authorisation.


Who should make a school absence request?

Ordinarily, the request should be made by the primary carer for the children where that carer plans to take their child outside of school during term-time. This will usually be the child's parent or legal guardian.


What should be done after the school absence request has been signed?

Once the letter has been signed by the parent or guardian, it should be sent to the school. Typically, the letter will be hand-delivered to the school reception or to the relevant teacher. The parent or guardian should await a response.


What documents should be attached to a school absence request?

A parent or guardian may wish to attach documents to support the basis of their request. This might include:

  • A doctor's note
  • confirmation of a medical appointment
  • Supplementary information about a religious ceremony or cultural event


Under what circumstances might a school approve an absence?

A school will usually only approve a planned absence for a family holiday in exceptional circumstances. A school is more likely to authorise an absence for:

  • medical reasons
  • educational reasons
  • religious or cultural reasons


What should a school absence request contain?

A school absence request should contain:

  • the full details for the child (or each child where more than one)
  • the days and times of the proposed or anticipated absence
  • the reason for the absence – for example, this might include: medical reasons, religious ceremonies, a bereavement or legal proceedings.


What laws apply to a school absence request?

Parents/Guardians in England should be aware of: the Education Act 1996 and government guidance on school attendance and absence.

Parents/Guardians in Scotland should be aware of: the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 and the Scottish Government guidance: School attendance: a guide for parents.

Parents/Guardians in Wales should be aware of the: Education Act 1996 and Welsh Government guidance: School attendance and absence.

Parents/Guardians in Northern Ireland should be aware of: the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1986, the Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 and the Northern Irish government guidance: School attendance and absences.


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