Did you know – There are 175 non-school days a year.
There are only 190 school days.
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 prohibits Headteachers granting leave of absence to a pupil except where an application has been made in advance and the Headteacher considers that there are exceptional or extenuating circumstances relating to the application.
Parents have a legal responsibility to ensure their child attends school. High attendance rates correspond to increased chances of success; every school day counts towards your child’s future. Days off can seriously impact on learning meaning that children miss vital information or learning. It can also impact on their self esteem and wellbeing.
There is plenty of time in the year where children are not at school. This gives families the opportunities to:
- Spend time together
- Go on family visits
- Go on holiday
- Go shopping
- Go on days out
- Attend routine appointments
Please ensure your child arrives at school before registration at 8.55am.
The playground is supervised from 8.40am.
Children are ill on occasions and when this is the case we readily accept that being at home is the best place to be. Please phone the office on 01273 087513 by 9.30am to explain why your child will be absent and the nature of the absence. If we do not receive a phone call we will contact you by 10.00am to ascertain your child’s whereabouts and the reason why they are not in school. Please also phone on each subsequent day of your child’s absence, or provide us with an indication of when they are expected to return. Children can’t help being ill and as a school we want all our children to be well and healthy in order to learn happily and confidently when they are here. However, this traffic light system is a guide to help you to recognise when to send your child into school and when they should be kept at home. Please be aware that we reserve the right to ask for medical certificates for any absence.
RED: STAY AT HOME
Raised temperature (over 37.5)
Rashes: Can be the sign of many infectious illnesses. Check with your GP before sending them to school.
Vomiting and diarrhoea: Please keep your child at home for forty eight hours after the last bout.
AMBER: TAKE ADVICE
Headaches: A child with a minor headache does not usually need to stay off school. However if the headache is more severe or is accompanied by other symptoms such as a raised temperature or drowsiness then keep your child home and consult your GP.
GREEN: COME TO SCHOOL*
Cough, cold, sore throat, feeling tired.
Any child arriving late in school must report to the school office with the adult who has brought them to school. The parent/carer should give the reason for lateness. If a parent knows in advance that the child will be late, it is helpful if the school can be informed.
We appreciate that it is not always possible to arrange medical appointments outside school hours, but whenever possible they should be arranged for after school. If your child has an appointment during school hours, we must receive a written note or a telephone message confirming the appointment.
The headteacher is not permitted to authorise holidays taken during term time. This absence will be unauthorised and may lead to the Local Authority imposing a fine (Fixed Penalty Notice).
From time to time there are exceptional circumstances which mean a child cannot attend school. In this case, it is important that parents or carers write to the headteacher at the earliest opportunity to explain what these circumstances might be.
If an absence is not authorised and the leave is taken, the case will be referred to the Behaviour and Attendance Team who may issue a Penalty Notice for £120 (or £60 if paid within 21 days) to each parent for each child taken out of school.
Defining exceptional circumstances
The Department for Education has not defined exceptional circumstances, except to explain that: “Schools should consider each request individually taking into account the circumstances, such as: the nature of the event for which leave is sought; the frequency of the request; whether the parent/carer gave advance notice; and the pupil’s attainment, attendance and ability to catch up on missed schooling”.
The nature of the words exceptional circumstances are such that they indicate unusual events or an abnormal occurrence. It is therefore not possible to define in advance when a request will or will not be exceptional.
Exceptional circumstances could include:
- Service personnel returning from a tour of duty abroad where it is evidenced the individual will not be in receipt of any leave in the near future that coincides with school holidays.
- Where an absence from school is recommended by a health professional as part of a parent or child’s rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issue.
- The death, sudden illness or terminal illness of a person close to the family.
- To attend a wedding or funeral of a person close to the family.
How do I decide whether my request is exceptional?
The following ‘rule of thumb’ may be helpful in considering a request for a leave of absence:
Could this request for leave take place during the normal school holidays?
If the answer is yes then it is not an exceptional circumstance.
The Department for Education is clear that there is no parental/carer right for a family holiday: cost, experiences for the child, weather and overlapping with school holidays are not factors on which the decision should be made.
Even if your request is an ‘exceptional circumstance’ the Headteacher will also still need to take into consideration the pupil’s attainment, attendance and ability to catch up on missed schooling; followed by the frequency of the requests before authorising the request. The Headteacher does not have to approve leave of absence even if the reason given is exceptional.
Further information can be found by following these links: