Absence policy and school leave
Leave and absence regulations
The Dutch Compulsory Education Act requires parents to ensure that their children attend school. Absence at will is not permitted. The school and the city are required to monitor attendance. An exception to this obligation can be made under certain circumstances. These exceptions and the applicable rules are described below.
When is your child exempted from going to school?
- When the school is closed for holidays or for special reasons, e.g. a study day for school staff.
- If the ministry quarantines the school due to swine fever, bird flu, a specific virus etc.
- If your child is sick (you are required to inform the school as soon as possible).
- If your child is suspended or expelled from school. The director must inform you in writing of this.
- Your child is unable to attend school based on religious grounds or personal convictions. You are required to inform the school of such instances two days ahead of time. The school only approves such leave if it involves official holidays and days of remembrance for the relevant religion.
Holiday leave during school hours
Requests to take time off for a holiday during regular school hours is only granted if your child is not able to go on holiday during the regular school holiday periods due to the specific nature of the profession of one of the parents. Such holiday leave can only be granted once per school year and for a maximum of 10 days and this must be the only family holiday for the school year.
Holiday leave cannot be granted during the first two weeks of the school year. Requests for holiday leave should be submitted to the Head of Department. A form is available for this purpose at the school or can be downloaded from the school’s website. The Head of Department will inform you in writing of the decision.
The Head of Department is not to grant holiday leave during school hours to accommodate cheap holidays outside of the regular season or in relation to extended visits to the country of origin or simply to take a midweek holiday or an extended weekend away.
Leave for ‘other important circumstances’
Leave may be requested under certain circumstances. For example:
- Your child is given at most one day off for a family move.
- To attend a family wedding (for relatives who are up to three times removed) your child receives 1 day off or at most 2 days if the wedding takes place outside the city.
- For the 12 ½, 25, 40, 50 and 60-year wedding anniversary of parents or grandparents, 1 day off or at most 2 days if the anniversary celebration takes place outside the city.
- For a 25 or 40-year working jubilee of (grand) parents at most 1 day off.
- For the arrival of a new family member your child is given at most 1 day off.
- In case of serious illness on the part of parents, grandparents, brothers or sisters, the number of days of leave is determined in consultation with the Head of Department.
- In case of the death of family members and in-laws, the number of days of leave is also determined in consultation with the Head of Department.
Important situations may arise other than the circumstances listed above in which you may wish to request leave for your child. The law then stipulates that this must involve situations that are beyond the control of the parents and/or the child.
The situations listed below are not considered ‘other important circumstances’ and therefore do not qualify for leave:
- Family visits abroad.
- Holidays during a cheaper period or in relation to special holiday offers.
- An invitation from family members or friends to go on vacation outside the normal school holiday period.
- Earlier departures or returns in relation to heavy traffic.
- Vacation during school hours due to a lack of availability of booking opportunities.
Request for leave decision
Requests for leave are assessed on an individual basis. A request for leave for ‘other important circumstances’ must be submitted to the Head of Department as early as possible. Requests for leave can only be submitted using the form available for this purpose. You can obtain copies of this form from the school’s reception or website. The Head of Department is authorized to take decisions concerning requests for leave up to a maximum of 10 days. If the request for leave involves more than 10 school days, a decision is taken by the Compulsory Education Officer at the city, after receiving the Head of Department’s input.
Disagreement with decision rendered
If your request for leave is rejected and you disagree with this decision, you are entitled to appeal this decision in writing to the Head of Department or the compulsory education officer. They are then required to reconsider their decision. You will be given the opportunity to explain your objection verbally. You will subsequently receive a decision in writing concerning your appeal.
The Head of Department and/or compulsory education officer may obtain advice concerning the issue from the city’s Appeal Commission. They can include this advice as part of their considerations. If you disagree with the decision concerning your appeal, you are entitled to register a written appeal with the Arrondissementsrechtbank [district court] – administrative law – under the Algemene Wet Bestuursrecht [General Administration Act] (AWb). You can submit a request for a temporary provision from the presiding judge of the court at the same time. These legal procedures involve costs. It is therefore recommended that you obtain legal advice, if you intend to submit an appeal to the court.
Absence without leave
If your child takes leave without the permission of the Head of Department or the Compulsory Education Officer this is considered as absence without leave. The Head of Department is obliged to report this to the Compulsory Education Officer. The latter decides if this will be recorded as an infraction.
Questions about (holiday) leave or compulsory education
Should you still have questions about leave or other compulsory education-related matters, please contact the school’s Head of Department or your city’s Compulsory Education Officer.
Education is of primary importance for the future of your child. This is why it is important for your child to take all of the classes offered by the school.
Although we understand this is not always possible, we would appreciate it if any medical appointments (family doctor, specialist, orthodontist) are as much as possible made outside school hours to keep absences from school to a minimum. These absences need to be reported by the school.
If your child is sick, please report this to the school before 9:00 in the morning. This can be done via telephone or email. This also applies to preschoolers who do not yet have to attend school. You may be asked to provide a doctor’s certificate as proof. If your child becomes sick during the school day you will be contacted. You can then come to pick up your child. If your child hurts him/herself or becomes injured, first aid will be administered. The school has several members of staff with a First Aid Diploma.
Regulations for suspension and/or expulsion
If the school considers it necessary to suspend or expel a student who regularly exhibits misconduct, the following steps will be followed:
- The intent to suspend or expel the student will be communicated to the parents/guardians in writing.
- The inspector responsible for overseeing education will be consulted.
- A meeting will take place between the school’s management, the student and his/her parents/guardians and the board.
Only once these steps have been carried out is the School Board in a position to take a decision, which is communicated to the parents/guardians in writing. A student may only be definitively expelled if the school is able to demonstrate that it has intensively explored opportunities for placing the student at another school during a period of 8 weeks.