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).
To notify the school of your child’s absence please contact the school by telephone at the earliest opportunity to inform us (we have an automated answering system for your convenience) and send a note of explanation for your child’s absence on their return to school. If you know beforehand that your child is to be off, please let us know as soon as possible by letter. If your child is absent and we have not heard from you, we will automatically contact you via a text message. If there is no explanation from a child’s parents, the absence will be regarded as unauthorised.
Please make every effort to avoid family holidays during term time as this will disrupt your child’s education and reduces learning time. I 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 me before the holiday. If I cannot give permission before the holiday, it will be recorded as unauthorised absence. I 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 me 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.
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.
Should your child be late for school they should report to the office where they will be given a late slip. This is to ensure that all children in the school are accounted for safety purposes. We realise that from time to time children may be late for a variety of reasons however should a pattern of lateness develop then parents will be contacted to remind them of the impact of this on their child’s education.