As the Government wishes to crack down on parents taking their children on holidays during term time, most LEAs instruct schools not to approve requests for holiday absences during the first two weeks of the Autumn term.
The Head therefore has a dilemma.
If they follow these guidelines and refuse permission, then the parents ignore this and the school's unauthorised absence figures go up (which looks bad on the Annual Report) Parents may enjoy their holiday knowing full well that the LEA will not take any action against them.
If they ignore the guidelines as most Heads do and authorise the absence then it simply encourages more parents to do the same.
All in all, a tremendous example of the popular idea that having a rule and writing it down clearly is all that is needed.