School Attendance Policy
The Department for Education expects schools and local authorities to promote good attendance and reduce absences, including persistent absence. This is because we know that missing out on lessons leaves children/young people vulnerable to falling behind. Children/young people with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary schools.
As a school we work incredibly hard to support all children/young people and their families so as to ensure that all children/young people have good attendance.
The Government has recently made amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 which came into force on 1st September 2013. These state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence for holidays during the term time unless there are exceptional circumstances; in these cases it is the Headteacher who determines the number of days a child can be away from school if leave is granted.
Attendance, exclusion and support
All children between the ages of five and 16 should be in full-time education - this is really important for their future.
Unless you've chosen home education it is a parent or carer's responsibility to make sure that a child or young person attends school regularly. Failure to do so could result in a penalty notice or prosecution.
Our aim is to improve attendance and provide support to pupils who cannot attend school for various reasons. This might be because of problems with behaviour, medical reasons or pregnancy. Where a pupil is at risk of exclusion we work with schools and families to improve behaviour. We also support pupils to continue in education if they are permanently excluded from school until we can re-integrate them.
If you're worried about your child's attendance or behaviour you should talk things over with the school or your local multi-agency team first.
We also have a duty to ensure the welfare of children and young people in certain circumstances. This includes children missing from education and those who are involved in entertainment, modelling or sports industries.
You can find more about the law on child employment.
Unauthorised leave of absence during term time
On 6 April 2017 the Supreme Court appeal, in relation to the Platt v Isle of Wight case, determined that under section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996 attending school 'regularly'; means:
" in accordance with the rules prescribed by the school "
From 1 September 2017, if requested, we will consider the issue of a penalty notice for any period of holiday absence which has not been authorised by the headteacher regardless of a child's wider school attendance.
Requests for absence
The Government made amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 which came into force on 1st September 2013. These state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence for holidays during the term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Parents needing leave of absence for exceptional circumstances should complete a form at least two weeks before the anticipated start date. The reason for the request should be given in detail.
If absence becomes a concern, the Education Welfare Service may get involved to resolve any problems. During this process they may need to speak with the your child.
As a consequence of these changes I will no longer be able to approve requests for leave of absence for reasons that are not considered to be special or exceptional such as:
- Availability of cheap holidays and cheap travel arrangements
- Days overlapping with beginning or end of term
Parents needing leave of absence for exceptional circumstances should write to the Headteacher at least two weeks before the anticipated start date. The reason for the request should be given in detail. Requests should be made before the leave is arranged as absences will not be granted retrospectively.
I would like to remind parents that this is Government policy and parents who take their children on holiday without permission will incur unauthorised absences for their child. These remain on the child's record and will be monitored for further action by the Education Welfare Service. Parents could be issued with a fixed penalty notice and/or court action.
Thank you for your support and understanding
As a school we will continue to support with attendance by;
- sending letters home to alert parents to low attendance
- arranging attendance panels to establish how we can support and explain next steps