Attendance and Absence from School: A Guide for Parents
This is intended to provide information about school attendance and to give guidance on how the school and parents can work together to ensure that children are able to take full advantage of their educational opportunities.
Attendance is monitored on a daily basis by the Office Administrator. They will meet fortnightly with the Deputy Headteacher to discuss trends and patterns of attendance/absence. Parents will be notified in writing if attendance falls below the 90% threshold. An attendance report for all members of staff is prepared each half term and shared with School Governors.
Absence Due To Illness
If your child is ill and will not be attending school, please ring the school as soon as possible on the first day of absence to let us know. If your child continues to be unwell, please keep the school informed every day. If we do not receive notification from you, the office staff will contact you to establish the reason for absence.
Please make sure your child is well enough to cope with school before they return. If your child has been sick and/ or has had diarrhoea, they must not return to school until 48 hours after the last episode.
Late arrival at school
If your child arrives at school after registers close, or is being collected from school before the end of the school day for any reason, please sign them in or out in the school office. Thank you.
Family holidays in term time
The school strongly discourages parents from taking holidays in term time, due to the effect it may have on learning. It is especially important that children are in school during times of assessment, as these inform planning for next steps in learning for each child.
Under current law, parents or carers do not have an automatic right to take their children out of school for holidays during term-time. Mr Moule, our Headteacher, is no longer allowed to grant leave of absence during term time for holidays unless there are exceptional circumstances.
All requests for a child’s leave of absence must be made in writing to Mr Moule in advance of the requested date/s. Authorisation of absence requests is rare. Parents/carers must understand that should they decide to ignore the school’s final decision then they will be liable to prosecution in line with Council policy (see below*)
The following reasons will not normally be considered as exceptional circumstances:
- availability of cheap holidays
- availability of accommodation
- better weather
- overlap with the beginning or end of term.
Taking your children out of school may have an adverse affect their education, for example:
- They may find it difficult to catch up on work they’ve missed – for example, if they need to complete a unit of work in Maths or English, or if they’re due to undertake assessments (SATs etc.)
- Sometimes, if children already struggle with subjects such as maths or English, they may find it even more difficult after they come back from holiday.
- The excitement in the lead up to the holiday and the time taken to settle back into the daily routine on return to school, mean the time ‘lost’ is effectively much greater than the length of the holiday itself.
Requests for absence other than holidays
There may be special occasions during school time which parents may wish their child to attend. While the school does understand the needs of parents, the reason has to be valid within the context of the law, have some educational value, or be a special occasion which cannot take place at any other time. Such requests should also be made in advance, in writing, so they can be given due consideration. Parents will be informed if the request cannot be authorised.
Please note that teachers are under no obligation to send work home for holidays taken during term time.
We do ask that, whenever possible, parents make appointments after school or during the holidays. We appreciate that this is not always possible but would ask that if an appointment is necessary during the day that you make it for early in the morning, or after 2pm in the afternoon.
Absence is regarded by the school as unauthorised when no explanation has been given by parents, or when reasons are not valid within the context of the law.
The Local Authority employs Educational Welfare Officers to work with the school and parents if there are attendance difficulties.
If your child misses school without permission or if permission has been asked for but not been given, it will be marked as an unauthorised absence in the register.
*Any unauthorised leave in term time may result in a Penalty Notice being issued. The notice is a fine of £60-£120 per parent, per child. We would see a fine as very much a last resort, in the hope that parents will support the school Attendance Policy.
Thank you in anticipation of your support in maintaining our high attendance record – every lesson counts
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