We appreciate that children are unwell from time to time and that there can be exceptional circumstances for absences, but we ask that you think carefully about keeping your child out of school. There is a strong connection between attendance and achievement at school. Absence is proven to have a significant negative impact upon a child’s educational attainment.
Studies have shown that attainment is better if attendance is high.
REPORTING A CHILD’S ABSENCE
By law, schools must record absences and the reason. You are, therefore, requested to contact the school on 01268 735329 – on the first morning of absence stating your child’s name, their class and the full reason for absence (if due to illness the nature of the illness must be stated). This process should be repeated for every day of your child’s absence unless you have made us aware that this will be a long term absence (i.e. hospital stay/chronic condition)
Medical and dental appointments should where possible be made outside of school hours, unless specialist hospital appointments have to be kept or it is a medical/dental emergency. The Attendance Officer should be informed in advance of any such absences and a copy of the relevant appointment card/hospital letter should be sent in for their attention.
Failure to supply relevant medical evidence where requested and poor attendance may result in a referral to the Local Authority who may issue a Penalty Notice for £60 if paid within 21 days or £120 within 28 days to each parent for each child. If the higher penalty is not paid within 28 days, the Local Authority may then institute legal proceedings against you in the magistrate’s court under section 444 of the Education Act 1996 for failing to ensure your child attends school regularly.
Our doors are open from 8.40am each morning, however official school start time is 8.50am. If your child arrives after 8.50am a late mark is recorded on your child’s record. If your child arrives after 9.15am, there is a ‘late after register closed’ mark recorded which will impact on your child’s attendance record. Arriving at school on time is the best start to your child’s learning journey and punctuality is encouraged as this promotes a positive life skill that will have benefits beyond school.
WHAT IS AUTHORISED AND UNAUTHORISED ABSENCE?
Only the school can authorise an absence. An explanation given by a parent/carer is not always sufficient for the school to authorise an absence. According to guidelines to schools from the DfE an absence may only be authorised if the absence is due to:
- Genuine pupil illness
- ‘Leave’ given by the school (this commonly includes emergency medical appointment and other similar circumstances).
- The pupil being unable to attend due to unavoidable causes (each case will be considered on an individual level and discretion applied by the Head Teacher)
- Religious observance where applicable.
Absences which the school is not able to authorise include:
- A shopping trip.
- Day trips.
- Lateness after the register has closed i.e. after 9.15 am.
- Being unable to participate in a school activity, e.g. school trip, activity days.
- Meeting relatives from/taking relatives to the airport.
- Holiday (Discretion is applied to families who have limited holiday leave i.e. armed forces/public services)
LEAVE OF ABSENCE DUE TO EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES
Taking your child out of school during term time is detrimental to your child’s educational progress. A child who takes 10 days absence will only attain 94.7% attendance in the year. They will also have missed a significant amount of their taught curricular input. There is NO legal entitlement for parents to take their child out of school during term time.
As from 1st September 2013 changes in the Education Regulations 2006 Section 7 state that Headteachers may no longer grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Family holidays do not come under this criterion. If absence is not authorised and the time is still taken, the case may be referred to the Local Authority Attendance Service who may issue a Penalty Notice for £60 if paid within 21 days or £120 within 28 days to each parent for each child. If the higher penalty is not paid within 28 days, the Local Authority may then institute legal proceedings against you in the magistrate’s court under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996 for failing to ensure your child attends school regularly
Across Essex numerous fines have been issued to parents taking children out of school for holidays during term time.
Should you have any queries or concerns regarding School Attendance please contact Mrs Waugh or Mrs Furze on firstname.lastname@example.org