Our expectation is 100% attendance for all children. We write to those parents whose child’s attendance falls below 92%, regardless of whether absence is due to holiday, illness or any other reason and whether the absence is authorised or unauthorised.
As of September 2013, following changes in the law, schools may not grant any leave of absence during term time, unless there are exceptional circumstances (which do not include cheap holidays, visiting relatives, family celebrations etc).
Any time away from school can have a significant impact on educational attainment, success in later life and longer term health and well-being. In law, parents are committing an offence if they fail to ensure regular and punctual attendance of their child at school. Therefore, any unauthorised absence in term time can result in the issuing of a Fixed Term Penalty Notice. Parents will have 21 days to pay this £60 fine, after which it goes up to £120 per parent per child. Failure to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice within 28 days may result in a criminal conviction and a fine in the Magistrate's Court of up to £1000. A Fixed Penalty Notice might also be issued if a child's attendance falls below 92% with 10 sessions or more of unauthorised absence and no satisfactory reason or explanation is given.
It is important to emphasise that these are government changes over which schools have no choice and apply to all schools. The aim is to improve overall attendance figures and reduce the lost days of education which can affect a child's progress. Your continued support in maintaining our very good levels of attendance is much appreciated. Every day counts!
If there is some unavoidable reason for absence then we ask parents to inform the school either by telephone before 9.30am on the first and any subsequent day of absence or by letter in advance so that we can note the reason for non-attendance in the registers. This also avoids us worrying about your child and from making unnecessary phone calls. If a parent cannot supply a note or explanation for any absence, the school will classify it as unauthorised.