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3.5.5 Holidays and School Trips Outside the UK

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This procedure applies to all holidays and to school trips outside the UK for all Looked After Children. School Trips within the UK Procedure applies to school trips within the UK.

Important Note:
Under the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013, the previous ability of headteachers to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a holiday during term time in ‘special circumstances’ of up to ten school days leave per year has been removed. The 2013 Regulations make clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’.

RELATED CHAPTER

Delegated Authority Procedure


Contents

  1. Holidays in the UK
  2. Holidays or School Trips Abroad
  3. When the Court's Permission is Required
  4. Obtaining a Passport

    Pro-Forma Request for Approval of Holiday Abroad


1. Holidays in the UK

Where there is a proposal for a Looked After Child to go on holiday in the UK, the child's social worker must obtain full information about the holiday, and seek the views of the child and parent as soon as possible. 

If the parents consent, their consent must be obtained in writing.

Where the social worker, parent and staff/carer agree to the proposed holiday, the holiday can be approved and should be included in the Placement Plan / Placement Information Record.

Where parental consent is not given, the social worker should obtain legal advice as to whether the holiday can go ahead. 

Where the social worker considers that the holiday should go ahead despite the parents' opposition and legal advice supports this, the approval of the social worker's manager to the holiday should be sought. The request for such approval should include the legal advice given.

Written confirmation of the Manager's decision, together with the reasons, should be provided to the parent.

Where the holiday will involve additional costs, the social worker should obtain approval for the costs from the Designated Manager (School/Educational Trips) before the holiday can be agreed.

If approved, the holiday should be included in the Placement Plan / Placement Information Record.

Where the holiday will interrupt contact arrangements between the child and parents, consideration should also be given to including in the Placement Plan / Placement Information Record additional contact before and after the holiday.


2. Holidays or School Trips Abroad

Where there is a proposal for a Looked After Child to go on holiday or a school trip abroad, the child's social worker must obtain full information about the holiday, and seek the views of the child and parent as soon as possible. 

The social worker should ascertain whether inoculations will be necessary and if so, seek the consent of the child and parents for these at the same time.

If the parents Consent, their consent must be obtained in writing.

The social worker should seek the approval of the Designated Manager (School/Educational Trips) to the holiday. 

The written request for such approval should include information about the length of, purpose and arrangements for the holiday; the wishes of the child; the views of the parent; the views of the staff/carer; the likely cost and how it is to be funded. The request for approval may be accompanied by a request for financial support and should always be accompanied by the child's up to date Child Protection Plan, Care Plan, Placement Plan / Placement Information Record and, where applicable, Pathway Plan. A Pro-Forma Request is attached to this procedure.

Where parental consent is not given, the social worker should obtain legal advice as to whether the holiday/trip can go ahead. Where the legal advice indicates the holiday is possible, the Designated Manager (School/Educational Trip)'s approval to the holiday can still be sought. The request for such approval should include the legal advice given.

Written confirmation of the Designated Manager's decision, together with the reasons, should be provided to the parent.

If approved, the holiday/trip arrangements should be included in the Placement Plan / Placement Information Record.

The social worker should arrange for the child to be inoculated as advised, and adequately insured for the holiday/trip.

Where the child does not hold a valid passport, the social worker should arrange for this - see Section 4, Obtaining a Passport below. 

Where the holiday will interrupt contact arrangements between the child and parents, consideration should also be given to including in the Placement Plan additional contacts before and after the holiday.


3. When the Court's Permission is Required

If the child is the subject of a Care Order and the holiday abroad is for more than one month, an application must also be made to the appropriate Court for the Court's permission to allow the child to go abroad if the parent's written agreement is not obtained.

Where a Court Order is required, the social worker should contact Legal Services as soon as possible for the necessary application to be made and advise the parents of the intended application.

If the holiday is authorised by the Court, the holiday should be included in the Placement Plan and additional contact arranged as above.


4. Obtaining a Passport

Where there is a proposal for a child to go on a holiday or trip abroad and the child does not currently hold a valid passport, the request to the Designated Manager (School/Educational Trips) in relation to the holiday/trip should include a request for authority to obtain a passport for the child.

Where the child requires a passport for any other reason, the approval of the Designated Manager (Passports) should be sought. The written request for such approval should include the reason for the request, the wishes of the child; the views of the parent; the views of the staff/carer where applicable; and the child's up to date Care Plan, Placement Plan and, where applicable, Pathway Plan.

Where the Designated Manager (School/Educational Trips), or the Designated Manager (Passports) gives authority for a passport to be obtained for a child, this must be confirmed in writing. The social worker must inform the parent of the decision. 

The social worker will obtain and complete the necessary application for the child or assist the parent/child to complete the necessary application form.

Where the child is the subject of a Care Order, the passport application must be signed by the Designated Manager (Passports) and accompanied by a letter confirming the child's legal status.

When the child is Accommodated, the parents must sign the application. 

See Passport Applications for Looked After Children Guidance for the latest Passport Office Guidance to Social Services Departments.


Pro-Forma Request for Approval of Holiday Abroad

Request for Approval of Holiday Abroad for Looked After Child

1. Purpose

To seek approval for a holiday abroad for a Looked After child


2. Reason(s) For Holiday

Contact 

Name Date of Birth 
Cultural/Racial Origin and Linguistic Background 


Religious Persuasion 

Details of Disability including Registration  


Looked After since Legal Status 

Reason(s) for being looked after


4. Current Placement

Current Placement/Date Placed 

Description of Placement 


Quality of Placement  


5. Relationship With Parent(s), Person(s) With Parental Responsibility

Contact 

Agreement to Holiday


Parental Contributions towards maintenance 


6. Holiday Arrangements

Location

Duration

Sponsors

Escorts


Purpose


Travel Arrangements


Insurance

Inoculations


Responsibility for Arrangements


7. Financial Arrangements

Cost of holiday


Amount contributed by the Department from standard payments (E G. Holiday Allowance - Foster Carers payments)


Reason for request for additional financial support (N.B. only in exceptional circumstances will extra funding be considered)


Signed Social Worker Date
Signed Team Manager Date
District Manager's Comments/Agreement 


Signed


Date 

District Manager
Attached:
Care Plan
Placement Plan
Child Protection Plan - Yes/No
Pathway Plan - Yes/No

End