Absence During Term Time
Your child should always attend school regularly during term times (dates can be found here). There are only two exceptions to this:
- When your child is too ill to go to school;
- When the school has authorised your child to be absent from school.
If your child is too ill to attend school, you should always call the school office (01706 648174) to let us know. Parents must call by 9:30am each day their child is absent.
Anytime you wish to take your child out of school during term time, you must ask the Headteacher, Ms Martin, for permission to do so. It is always the Headteacher's decision whether to allow an absence. If you do not ask for permission, or it is not allowed and you take your child out of school anyway, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.
Parents often assume that they have the right to take their child out of school during term-time for family holidays; this isn't true. New DfE regulations recommend that Headteachers do not authorise time out of school for a family holiday.
The amendments make it clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances, these are likely to be very rare. Amendments to the regulations remove references to ‘family holiday’ and ‘extended leave’ as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. In addition, parents are urged to make all routine medical and dental appointments after school or during school holidays.
In order to comply with the new regulations, it means that holidays taken during term time will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’ and may be subject to a Penalty Notice.
Penalty Notice for Unauthorised Leave during Term Time
Penalty Notices can now be issued if a pupil is absent for a minimum of 10 sessions (5 school days) for an absence relating to leave during term time. A penalty notice will be issued without the issue of warning if a pupil is absent for a period not agreed or authorised by the Headteacher.
Unauthorised Absences Penalty Notice
These can be issued if a minimum of 20 sessions (10 school days) are lost due to unauthorised absence. This includes persistent late arrival at school (after the register has closed).
Payment of a Penalty Notice within 21 days is £60 and a payment after this time but within 28 days is £120. This is per parent, per child.
What happens if my child’s attendance is too low?
As a school, we aim for 100% attendance. If your child's attendance dips below 90%, we will contact you to see if there is any support that we can offer in ensuring that your child attends school regularly. This may seem high but 90% equates to one day off every two weeks, which has a significant impact on a child's learning.
If attendance continues to drop then we may refer to matter to an Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) who will be in contact to investigate.