Children should always attend school regularly during term times. There are only two exceptions to this:
• When your child is too ill to go to school
• When the school has authorised your child to be absent from school
If your child is too ill to attend school, you should always call the school office (01304 830376) to let us know. We ask that you do this on the morning of each day your child is absent, even if these days run consectutively.
Anytime you wish to take your child out of school during term time, you must put this request in writing to the Headteacher who will then respond either by telephone call or in writing to your request.
It is always the Headteacher’s decision whether or not to allow an absence. If you do not ask for permission, or it is not allowed and you take your child out of school anyway, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.
Parents often assume that they have the right to take their child out of school during term-time for family holidays; this isn’t true. New DfE regulations recommend that Headteachers do not authorise time out of school for a family holiday. The amendments make it clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Amendments to the regulations remove references to ‘family holiday’ and ‘extended leave’ as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days.
In order to comply with the new regulations, it means that holidays taken during term time will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’ and may be subject to a Penalty Notice. ‘Exceptional’ circumstances are likely to be rare and would be for events such as a funeral or a wedding. Applications must be submitted in writing before the event. In addition, parents are urged to make all routine medical and dental appointments after school or during school holidays.
It is also important that your child gets to school on time. Registration starts at 8.30am and by 8.50am ALL pupils should be in the classroom ready to start the school day. If children arrive late, it not only disrupts their learning, but has an impact on the learning of the whole class.
What happens if my child’s attendance is too low?
As a school, we aim for 97% attendance. If your child’s attendance dips below 95%, we will contact you to see if there is any support that we can offer in ensuring that your child attends school regularly. This may seem high but when added up can equate to one day off every two weeks, which has a significant impact on a child’s learning.
If attendance continues to drop then we may refer to matter to a KCC School’s Liaison Officer who will be in contact to offer advice and support to both the school and family.