School attendance is vitality important for children to learn and reach their full potential. Being in school is important not only to your child’s academic achievements but also to their well-being and wider development.
The Department for Education, Education Hub Research has found that pupils who perform better both at the end of primary and secondary education missed fewer days than those who didn’t perform as well. Their data also shows that primary school children in Key Stage 2 who didn’t achieve the expected standard in reading, writing and maths missed on average four more days per school per school year than those whose performance exceeded the expected standard.
Every school day really matters.
Here is the parent section from the Trust’s Attendance and Punctuality Policy.
The full policy can be found in the policy section.
- ensure their child attends school every day when the school is open;
- ensure their child arrives to school on time, ready and equipped to learn;
- be aware that it is an offence for their child to be absent from school without a valid reason;
- be aware that only the school can determine if an absence from school is ‘authorised’;
- notify the school as soon as possible and ideally before the start of the school day and on each subsequent day of absence if their child is unable to attend, including the reason for absence and the expected date of return;
- ensure that all appointments, wherever possible, are arranged out of school hours;
- ensure that where an appointment during school time is unavoidable, their child attends for as long as possible prior to and/or returns immediately after the appointment;
- ensure that their child returns to school as soon as possible after any period of illness;
- support their child’s attendance by avoiding arranging holidays/leave during term time except in exceptional circumstances;
- ensure that all requests for leave during term time are made by completing the Leave of Absence during Term Time Request Form, where possible at least one month in advance;
- work with the school and other agencies when barriers to their child's attendance are identified;
- be aware that for unauthorised absences the School Standards Committee reserves the right to apply to the local authority to issue a fixed penalty notice (a fine);
- provide the school with a minimum of two emergency contact numbers and ensure they are kept up to date with any changes.
There are two circumstances in which you child may be absent from school
- They are too unwell to attend
- You have obtained advanced permission from the headteacher.
Further information can be found in the NHS guidance regarding ‘Is my child too ill for school?’ following the link below.
Holidays in term time
- The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (as amended) by Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2013 no longer permit Headteachers to authorise leave for holidays.
- Headteachers may only grant leave of absence in exceptional circumstances; it is therefore unlikely a leave of absence will be granted for the purposes of a family holiday.
- Parents should plan their holidays around school breaks and avoid seeking permission from schools to take their children out of school during term time unless it is absolutely unavoidable.
- A leave of absence is granted entirely at the headteacher’s discretion.
- If a leave of absence is granted, it is for the headteacher to determine the length of the time the pupil can be away from school.
- Requests for Leave of Absence should be made before any arrangements are confirmed or money committed
- This request form MUST be completed in advance by the parent(s)/carer(s) with whom the pupil normally lives before requests will be considered.
- If Leave of Absence is granted, please contact school to discuss measures to minimise the impact of the absence on your child’s academic progress.
- A Leave of Absence form must be completed for each child.
- If your leave of absence is either approved and you fail to ensure that your child returns to school by the agreed date or your child takes leave when you leave of absence request is not approved, the absence will be marked as unauthorised on the attendance register.
- Parents may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecuted for unauthorised absence, including holidays.
- Schools must consider each application for a leave of absence individually taking into account the specific facts and circumstances and relevant background context behind each request.
- Children need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind.
In considering whether any exceptional circumstances apply, the headteacher will consider if the reasons are rare, significant and unavoidable. The headteacher will also take into consideration the factors listed below:
- whether the event for which leave of absence is requested could reasonably take place during school holidays;
- levels of attendance and unauthorised absence over the last 12 months;
- any leave of absence taken previously;
- whether the leave is during the exam period or will result in a failure to meet assessment deadlines;
- the age and year group of the pupil concerned.
We have a shared responsibility to ensure that the law is upheld and that your child achieves his/her full potential. We look forward to your co-operation.