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To ask for a term time holiday for DS with autism?

66 replies

Plushypumpkin · 17/10/2022 13:53

Do schools/councils take into consideration the reason for taking a term time holiday or will it just be a blanket no?

I have never taken DS out of school and he has a near-perfect attendance record ( he is in year 4). However, this year he is finding busy situations increasingly difficult.

Are children with autism taken into consideration for term time holidays?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

113 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
gogohmm · 17/10/2022 13:54


Plenty of quiet options in school holidays. I always chose places which wouldn't be popular with families - dd was into history so think road trips

ButterflyBiscuit · 17/10/2022 13:55

We have but got refused. We're going anyway but going to come back in time for school Friday, in part to avoid the fine as we can't afford it! If you can afford it just factor it in.

Both schools said that they can't authorise it, said something about government rulings so passing the buck rather than saying they disagreed.

I really though they would for autism! But no not here.

TimeForMeToF1y · 17/10/2022 13:56

Unless it's changed recently schools can't approve holiday except in very exceptional
If you're going to go anyway just inform them and wait and see if you get a fine. It's not something anyone can tell you for sure in advance

Skiphopbump · 17/10/2022 13:58

I took DS out for a term time holiday- the school said they couldn’t authorise ot
bit also wished me a great holiday as they knew I was going.

Sahara123 · 17/10/2022 13:59

I don’t think they can say yes for autism as it would open the floodgates for every other disability

NotMyFinestMoment · 17/10/2022 14:08

If you have something in writing, e.g. hospital letters, EHCP, etc. that says your child has sensory issues, struggles with crowds, queues and noise, etc. I think you 'might' have reasonable grounds to want to take them away during term time when it's quieter and less hectic.

x2boys · 17/10/2022 14:14

You can ask but if they don't authorise it the worse they can Do is fine you
I'm thinking about it next year ,my oldest son takes his GCSE,s next spring so will be finished by the end of June ,my youngest has severe autism and learning disabilities, he's in a special school, we haven't had a holiday before the pandemic, so thinking of taking advantage of the few weeks before school ,s finish ,if ds2 ,s school don't authorise so be it.

YellowTreeHouse · 17/10/2022 14:17

Why should they have an exception? There are plenty of less crowded places you can go.

FarmerRefuted · 17/10/2022 14:18

DC school have previously authorised a term time holiday for us for this reason. We booked autism-friendly accomodation and due to high demand the only week available was in term time, I also explained that it's less distressing for DC to travel at quieter times and to be able to access facilities at less busy times (this was backed up by information in their EHCP document).

Other DC, also disabled, is at a different school and theirs was not approved but the school said they would not be seeking the issuing of a penalty notice.

All you can do is ask, they might authorise it, they might not.

ThisIsNotThePostYourLookingFor · 17/10/2022 14:19

We have been doing that for 7 years and have never asked permission. We send in a letter stating our dates and the school always send one back saying it goes down as unauthorised but it’s never been an issue.

FarmerRefuted · 17/10/2022 14:20

YellowTreeHouse · 17/10/2022 14:17

Why should they have an exception? There are plenty of less crowded places you can go.

Because disabled people have a right to reasonable adjustments. Travelling during quieter periods in order to access the same faclities/locations available to non-disabled people during all periods would be considered to be a reasonable adjustment.

HSMLPS · 17/10/2022 14:26

Its up to the head teacher so it’s impossible to say what their view is.

In our house we’re all autistic but we don’t find our neurotype to be disabling.We naturally seek out quiet places to visits, as such, it’d be an expection, rather than the rule, that we’d need to take time off in term time to access tourist attractions.

Spikeyball · 17/10/2022 14:30

Ds's special school does. His mainstream didn't. My council don't fine unless an excessive amount of holidays are taken.

"Why should they have an exception? There are plenty of less crowded places you can go."

The less crowded places can still be too busy in school holidays. Ds also has physical accessibility needs and accessible places are always busy with kids in school holidays.

7eleven · 17/10/2022 14:36

It will not be authorised.

YellowTreeHouse · 17/10/2022 14:49

@FarmerRefuted Disabled adults have a right to reasonable adjustments. Children do not.

FarmerRefuted · 17/10/2022 15:30

YellowTreeHouse · 17/10/2022 14:49

@FarmerRefuted Disabled adults have a right to reasonable adjustments. Children do not.

Yes. They do. Disability rights are not age specific.

Spikeyball · 17/10/2022 15:41

"Disabled adults have a right to reasonable adjustments. Children do not."

Disabled children do have a right to them. The Equality Act 2010 applies to disabled people of all ages

BeanCounterBabe · 17/10/2022 16:54

I don’t know anyone who has been authorised term time holidays just for SN kids avoiding crowds. I do know several where the school themselves have been absolutely fine about it but still marked as unauthorised. Our LA doesn’t fine for unauthorised absence so there is no consequence to unauthorised absence.

We haven’t taken more than a day or two in term time for our SN child as we both work and it would just mean more to time to cover from our annual leave allowance. We just pick our times and locations to avoid crowds. Spain in October half term, Eurocamp type things in May half term or last week of August. We don’t insist on (or can easily afford) AI resort holidays and DC would hate it anyway.

Just book what you want. School can disapprove but they can’t stop you.@

MrsRhodes · 17/10/2022 16:58

We got an official refusal and told it would be unauthorised absence but a little note sent that said HT completely understood and would do the same in our shoes and hoped we had a lost time but she wasn't allowed to give permission for holidays.

HaPPy8 · 17/10/2022 17:00

I think this is a very fair ask and I would do it.

Toomanysquishmallows · 17/10/2022 17:00

My daughter attends a special school, for children with autism and learning difficulties, they don’t authorise term time holidays.

Doxiesshallinherittheearth · 17/10/2022 17:18

In my DCs school it’s marked as unauthorised, but they do let you go.

HouseBook · 17/10/2022 17:19

I'm in Scotland where this would not be an issue.

I took mine out most years throughout their school years.

HouseBook · 17/10/2022 17:21


Disabled adults have a right to reasonable adjustments. Children do not.

Can you evidence this? I have used those exact words for many years to ask for things for my DC

amylou8 · 17/10/2022 17:28

Mainstream didn't, I just factored the fine into the cost of the holiday. Once he was out of mainstream his SN School didn't bat an eyelid.

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