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3.6.3 Holidays and School/Organisational Trips Outside the UK

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This procedure applies to all holidays and school trips outside the UK for all children in care.

RELEVANT CHAPTER

For organisational trips, it should be read in conjunction with Activities Procedure.

AMENDMENT

In December 2014 Section 1, Holidays or School Trips Abroad was amended to make clear that 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.


Contents

  1. Holidays or School Trips Abroad
  2. When the Courts Permission is Required
  3. Obtaining a Passport


1. Holidays or School Trips Abroad

Where there is a proposal for a looked after child to go on holiday or a school/organisational trip abroad, the child's social worker must obtain full information about the holiday/trip, satisfy him or herself that the child's welfare will be safeguarded during the holiday and seek the views of the child and parent as soon as possible. Please note children are not allowed to go on holiday in school terms.

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.

social worker considers the holiday should go ahead, he/she should seek the approval of the Head of Service to the holiday.

The social worker's written request for such approval should include information about the length, purpose and arrangements for the holiday/trip; 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. 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/trip is possible, the approval of the Head of Service Designated Manager (Passports and Holidays Abroad) can still be sought. The request for such approval should include the legal advice given.

If approved, the holiday/trip arrangements should be recorded on ICS.

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 3, Obtaining a Passport.

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

Children must not be taken on holiday during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances that would be approved by the Head of the Virtual School and the operational manager of CLA and supported by the school. Requests must be made in writing. (Note that 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’.)


2. 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 permission to allow the child to go abroad if the parents' 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.


3. Obtaining a Passport

The social worker will obtain and complete the necessary application for the child or assist the parent/child to complete the necessary application form. See attached Home Office Guidance in Relation to Obtaining Passports for Looked After Children.

Where the child is the subject of a Care Order, the passport application must be signed by the Team Manager or Operational Manager.

When the child is Accommodated, the parents must sign the application. If the parents do not consent, legal advice should be sought; the application can only be made in these circumstances if accompanied by a Court Order authorising the issue of a passport without the parents' consent.

End