As a parent or carer, you have a legal requirement to ensure your child attends school on a regular basis. Therefore, you hold the responsibility to promote good attendance and punctuality.
We do understand there are times when children will need to be absent from school for a number of reasons. As a result, we will only consider authorising absences in the following instances:
We ask all parents and carers to follow our absence procedure in order to grant authorised absence in the above cases. You are required to contact the school as soon as possible on the first day of absence, followed by a note providing a signed explanation upon the first day of your child’s return. Any parent or carer who has not reported their child as absent will be contacted by the school by phone call, text message or email. Failure to follow this procedure may result in the child receiving an unauthorised absence and could lead to us informing the local attendance officer, should their attendance fall below 90 percent.
The DfE has made it clear that headteachers are not to authorise absence for any holidays during term time, except under exceptional circumstances.
We will not, therefore, grant authorisation for absence in the following instances:
We must also state the importance of punctuality with regards to the beginning of the school day. You will be aware that the school day starts at 08:55 and all pupils are expected to be on school premises at this time. Should your child arrive after the register closes, they will receive a mark to show that they are on-site, though this will still be recorded as an absence. Continuous lateness will, therefore, result in several unauthorised absences, despite your child being on-site for the rest of the school day.
It is now possible for parents and carers to be issued penalty notices for unauthorised absences. Penalty notices begin with an initial fine of £60, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. Following failure of these payments, the local attendance officer may decide to prosecute a parent. If so, parents can be fined up to £2,500 or imprisoned for failing to ensure that their child attends school regularly.