In light of this it is essential that school be informed if your child is absent for any reason, either by letter or by telephone call prior to, or immediately following, the absence.
Amendments to the 2006 pupil registration regulations remove references to family holiday and extended leave as well as to the statutory threshold of ten school days (authorised at the discretion of the Head Teacher).
Persistent Absentees over 10%
The amendments make clear that:
- Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.
- Whilst leave of absence may be granted during term time, it is entirely at the Head Teacher’s discretion and it is not a parental right.
- Parents should seek permission for a leave of absence during term time prior to the leave, fully explaining the reasons for each request. Each request should then be judged on a case by case basis by the Headteacher.
- Leave must be agreed to before it begins: This is not an entitlement and leave taken in term time will adversely affect a child’s attendance record.
- A parent requesting a leave of absence during term time should make the application in writing at least two weeks in advance.
- If leave is not granted, the reason for not authorising a request will be clearly stated, as well as the possible consequences of disregarding the refusal.
- All students who in exceptional circumstances are granted Leave will be expected to make up the work lost.
Non Authorised Absences
The Headteacher will NOT authorise absence in the following circumstances:
- Looking after other family members
- Waiting in for Trades People
- Unapproved sporting events.
- Continued lateness to school.
Truancy which includes:
- Unexplained absence (no note / contact from parents / carer).
- An unacceptable reason for absence is provided.
Responding to Non-Attendance
When a pupil does not attend school, we will respond in the following manner:
Ask for explanation for absence and log parental responses in order to determine appropriate registration coding.
If an acceptable reason for absence is not provided the absence will be classified as unauthorised. Unauthorised absence may result in intervention from the Education Welfare Officer.
In the case of persistent non-attendance, and following a set period of intervention with our Education Welfare Officer, we will seek support from the Local Education Authority for statutory action in the form of warnings or a fixed penalty notice.
Fixed Penalty Notices
The Education Act 1996 clearly state: ‘If any child of compulsory School age who is a registered pupil at a school, fails to attend regularly, the parents of the child shall be guilty of an offense.’
This may result in each parent or carer being issued with a £60 fixed penalty notice.
The school will consider applying to the local authority for the issue of fixed penalty notices in the following circumstances:
- Overt truancy (including pupils caught on truancy sweeps).
- Parentally-condoned absences.
- Unauthorised Leave of Absence in term time.
- Excessive delayed return from extended holidays or authorised Leave of Absence without prior school agreement.
- Persistent late arrival at school (after the Register has closed).
Statistical Information on School Absence
The school is required to publish data regarding overall and persistent absence. The following are the percentages for Academic Year 2016/17 for compulsory aged pupils (Year 1 – Year 6).