Absences from school
Regular and punctual attendance of pupils at school is both a legal requirement and essential for pupils to maximise the educational opportunities available to them. The importance of good attendance at school cannot be overemphasised and a child’s chances of a successful future may be affected by not attending school regularly. The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 make it clear that Head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances, eg. (i) for service personnel and other employees who are prevented from taking leave of absence outside term time at any point in the academic year; (ii) the terminal illness or bereavement of a parent or sibling. The school is required by law to maintain a register of attendance of all pupils.
Registration is taken at the start of morning and afternoon school. This information is made available to the Local Authority and the DfE (Department for Education).
The Local Authority, through the Wiltshire Education Welfare Service, will investigate cases of irregular attendance at school. Penalty Notices are issued for absence taken during term time where the leave of absence has not been authorised by the school or an absence has not been requested in advance and the pupil has had a minimum of 10 sessions (5 school days) lost to unauthorised leave of absence during the previous six months up to and including the day the Educational Welfare Service is notified.
Absence from School
In addition to our legal responsibilities, when a child does not arrive for school we are always anxious for the safety and well-being of that child. Parents must therefore inform the school of the reasons for all absences. Any unexplained absence has to be registered as an unauthorised absence.
Procedures for Reporting Absence:
If you know in advance that your child will not be at school (e.g. because they have a medical appointment), please let us know beforehand, via a telephone call or email to the school office.
If your child is unexpectedly prevented from attending school (e.g. through illness), please let us know by telephone as soon as possible on the first day of his/her absence and any subsequent days.
Children will be marked down as ‘Late’ on the register if they arrive after 9:10 am.
Requesting a Leave of Absence in term time
Families wishing to request a Leave of Absence must complete and submit a request form at least two weeks prior to the event. At the point of request parents must provide all supporting evidence. Any evidence offered at a later stage may not be considered.
Leave of Absence can only be requested by the parent/carer with whom the child resides.
Only in exceptional circumstances are head teachers able to authorise Leave of Absence during term time. It may be necessary to discuss circumstances with the head teacher who will follow the government guidance in granting or declining a request.
Where Leave of Absence is declined by the school it will be recorded as a ‘G’ (unauthorised holiday) and may result in a Penalty Notice being issued to parents by Wiltshire Council if it totals 10 sessions or more.
Where absence has not been authorised and parents/carers proceed in taking their children out of school then the local authority may issue a fixed penalty notice. This is £120 per parent per child, where the child resides with both parents (reduced to £60 if paid within 28 days).
Please see Local Authority leaflet entitled ‘PENALTY NOTICES FOR HOLIDAYS TAKEN DURING TERM TIME, s444A and s444B Education Act 1996, Information for Parents and Carers’.