Study leave for pupils: requirements and guidance

Find out if you can grant study leave and what you need to consider when granting it. Plus, learn which absence codes to use, and whether study leave counts towards attendance figures.

Last reviewed on 7 May 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: SecondaryRef: 8721
  1. You should only grant study leave for public examinations
  2. Consider if study leave would benefit your pupils
  3. You must provide for any pupils who want to revise in school
  4. Recording study leave: absence codes and statistics 
  5. See an example of a letter to parents/carers 

Note: the DfE has published a new version of working together to improve school attendance that comes into force on 19 August 2024, as statutory guidance. You should continue to follow the current, non-statutory version until then.

You should only grant study leave for public examinations

This is for pupils in year 11 and above, provided they are studying for a public examination. 

Study leave should also:

  • Not be granted by default once the exam syllabus has been taught
  • Be used sparingly

This is explained in paragraph 228 of the non-statutory attendance guidance

The DfE's new, statutory attendance guidance confirms that study leave should not be granted for any internal examinations, e.g. mocks (see paragraph 37). 

Study leave can be granted before public examinations have begun

However, it must be specifically for the purpose of studying for those examinations. 

Consider if study leave would benefit your pupils


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