Attendance and Absence

It is the responsibility of parents of a child of school age to make sure that their child is educated.

Absence from school is recorded as authorised, that is approved by the children and families department, or as unauthorised, that is unexplained by the parent (truancy).

Please let the school know by letter or phone if your child is likely to be absent for some time, and give your child a note on his or her return to school, confirming the reason for absence. If there is no explanation from a child’s parents, the absence will be regarded as unauthorised.

Lateness

If your child is late please report to the school office at the main entrance.

Illness/ unplanned absence

If your child will be absent please call the school as early as possible to let the office staff know the name and class of the child and the reason for absence. The absence line is an answering machine and you should leave a message. This should be done on each day of absence.

Pupils who are absent because of illness should bring a note of explanation on their return and present this to their class teacher.

A register is taken each morning and afternoon in your child’s class. If your child is not present and you have not contacted the school office, our office staff will phone you to ensure your child’s safety. It is of utmost importance that the school holds your up to date contact information at all times.

Please notify the school of any changes to your contact details.

Planned absence

Please make every effort to avoid family holidays during term time as this will disrupt your child’s education and reduces learning time. We can approve absence from school for a family holiday in certain extreme situations, for example, in traumatic domestic circumstances where the holiday would improve the cohesion and wellbeing of the family. Please discuss your plans with the Head Teacher before the holiday.

If we cannot give permission before the holiday, it will be recorded as unauthorised absence. We can authorise a holiday if you can prove that work commitments make a family holiday impossible during school holiday times. Normally, your employer will need to provide evidence of your work commitments. Absence approved by the Head Teacher on this basis is regarded as authorised absence.

Any requests for extended absence over two weeks will be referred to the Senior Education Manager: Inclusion who will decide if it will be recorded as authorised or unauthorised leave.

Parents from minority ethnic religious communities may request that their children be permitted to be absent from school to celebrate recognised religious events. Absence approved on this basis is regarded as authorised absence. Extended leave can also be granted on request for families returning to their country of origin for cultural or care reasons

Pupils may be excused for part of the school day to keep a medical or dental appointment.
Please provide a letter in advance, or call the school office. In addition, you should notify the class teacher.

Unsatisfactory attendance

Parents are responsible by law for ensuring that children attend school regularly and punctually. Should your child’s attendance come into question you will in the first instance be contacted by the Headteacher. Should the concern continue, the Headteacher will ask an Education Welfare Officer to visit the home and discuss the problem with the parents. If such unsatisfactory attendance persists, the Headteacher, following discussions with the Education Welfare Officer and other agencies, will decide whether the case should be referred to the local Area Attendance Advisory Group. This group has been formed to make recommendations to the Director on the statutory responsibilities of the Authority with regard to defaulting parents.

A supportive approach is taken to unexplained absence. However the children and families department has legal powers to write to, interview or prosecute parents, or refer pupils to the Reporter to the Children’s Panel, if necessary.

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