Taking children out of school during term time

I will be taking my children out of school next month for our family holiday. 2 of my children have additional needs, one is diagnosed combined adhd and one awaiting assessment for adhd/asd. Neither of them cope well in overcrowded situations with one having social anxiety and the other being liable to wonder off etc. this is the main reason for going out of term time so it will not be as busy. Is there anything I can do in order to not receive an fine from my local authorities for doing this.


Mark Walker
16 Sep 2023

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A: SenseCheck

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  • 16 Sep 2023
  • Yes


    You probably already know this, but you can avoid a fine by seeking permission from the headteacher to allow your children to be absent from school and your request being granted.

    If your children are disabled and are disadvantaged by the current school holiday schedule because of their disability (ies), you possibly could  add that your request is a reasonable adjustment because it would avoid the disadvantage they face as a result of the existing school holiday arrangements. For more details, refer to the Disability No-nonsense guide here:

     01.01 Can you explain where to find the legal definition of disability in Britain in relation to education and how it works?

    01.02 Is there a “test” to prove that my child has a disability?

    01.03 Does a child need a “medical” diagnosis of a condition or disorder to satisfy the definition of disability in the Equality Act 2010?

    02.01 Does the Equality Act 2010 afford a disabled child or young person any protection in education?

     04.02 Does making “reasonable adjustments” under the Equality Act 2010 extend to modifying internal school policies that place a disabled child at

    However, be prepared for potential opposition from the Head. Having said that, I have occasionally seen this approach being successful. It is important that you clearly and comprehensively articulate the disadvantage your children would be subject to by taking a holiday during the school break and then link this back to their impairments. You may also need demonstrate that you have considered a range of possible adjustments and be able to articulate why the one you have put forward is preferred given all the alternatives. Further, you may also wish to consider putting forward suggestions as to how you children can make up for any lost learning do demonstrate that, on balance, the detrimental effect on their education has been minimised. 

    I eagerly await others' contributions on this matter but I hope this is helpful.

    Sean Kennedy

    Sean Kennedy
    Talem Law