The government wishes to have the full picture on pupil absence. Excessive amounts of authorised absence can be just as disruptive to the continuity of learning as unauthorised absence.
Procedures for Parents to Follow When a Child is Absent
- telephone the school by 8.30am on the first morning of your child’s absence explaining the reason for absence.
- continue to contact the school each morning explaining the reason for absence, unless the school has been notified of the reason for the entire period of absence and given a return date.
Procedures for the School to Follow When a Child is Absent
- parents will be telephoned by the school if no contact has been made by 9.30am
- registers will be checked on a weekly basis for any missing marks or unexplained absence
- at the end of each term any unexplained absences will be marked as unauthorised
We publish the dates of schools terms well ahead. This is to help parents plan holidays. When you book your holiday, please check that it does not clash with the school term.
The Value of Regular Attendance
Your child must attend school regularly. Research shows that pupils perform better if their parents or carers emphasise the importance of attending school.
Parents have a legal duty to make sure their child attend school regularly and punctually. The school and the LA monitor children’s attendance and will take action if it is poor.
Requests for Leave of Absence
Absence for anything other than through illness or medical reasons during term time is actively discouraged.
The DfE has published new amendments to the Pupil Registration Regulations which came into force from September 2013 and relate to Holidays in Term Time, Penalty Notices and Deletions from the school register.
The amendments make clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
The Headteacher will define ‘exceptional circumstances’ and also determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.
Applying for Leave of Absence
Parents requesting time out of school for their child during term time should write a letter to the Headteacher giving reasons for the absence. An appointment with the Headteacher will then follow to discuss his decision on whether this is an exceptional circumstance.
If you take your child out of school WITHOUT permission you will be committing an offence under the Education Act 1996. The school may refer the matter to the Education Welfare Service who may decide to prosecute. A conviction may result in a fine, a prison sentence or both. Alternatively a penalty notice may be issued under Section 444A and 444B of the Education Act 1996. A penalty fine of £60 (per parent, per child) within 21 days, or £120 within 28 days could be issued and your child could lose their place at school.
Failure to pay the penalty notice may result in Court Action.
Persistent Absence and Lateness
This is an area of concern from the Government. A more challenging attitude to authorised absence will be applied. Any pupil with an attendance record of 80% or below per term are referred to as “Persistent Absentees” by the DfE and will be considered for referral to the Education Social Work Service.
In the first instance, contact will be made to the parent/carer regarding poor attendance and/or punctuality by the following:
- Letter and printout – indicating the child’s attendance record if it falls below 95% for that term.
- In addition to a letter and printout, pupils with attendance percentages between 90% and 80% will be monitored half termly.
- Meeting with Headteacher where appropriate – to discuss attendance/punctuality record and the effects on learning.
Contact with the parent/carer regarding attendance/punctuality will be noted in the Attendance & Absence Folder, held by the School Secretary.
Education Welfare Officer
The Education Welfare Officer makes visits to the school to discuss absence trends and to check up on persistent non-attenders.