It is difficult to give you a precise number s it will depend upon your exiting qualifications plus we review the timetable each year. However you can book leave during your first year - in fact you have to as you must use your annual leave entitlement. You just need to liaise carefully with your placement and your education provider to ensure you take your leave at the best time.
Hi! If nothing changes and you have no exemptions (and no resits!) you sit 2 exams during the first week of both December and June. I did find it difficult to use all my annual leave by April (it's calculated pro-rata) because CIPFA don't share the lecture dates with much notice, and there are lots of residentials and your organisation will probably want you around at month end (first week of the month). Saying that I've had two separate weeks away. It's just difficult to plan in advance if you don't want to miss anything.
I am not on the finance specialism, but I will try to answer your question relating to holidays.
From September to end of March in the first year you have 16 days of annual leave to take. I took a few days in October and a block of 3 weeks off over Christmas and New Year. You arrange your leave dates with your placement manager.
From April to following March you have 27 days, and then from March until the end of the scheme it's 11.5 days.
Thank you for your feedback!