Absences during term time.
Any requests for Leave of Absence during term time for exceptional circumstances, must be provided in writing to the Head Teacher.
HOLIDAYS AND UNAUTHORISED ABSENCES IN TERM TIME
Changes have been made to the Education (Pupil Registration) (ENGLAND) Regulations 2006 legislation in relation to ‘Absences during term time.’ The new legislation makes it clear that Head Teachers may not authorise holidays in term time.
Any application for leave of absence during term time must only be in exceptional circumstances and must be requested in writing to the Head Teacher. The Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher or Senior Safeguarding Officer will then meet with you to discuss the request further. Any absences which are agreed for authorisation in exceptional circumstances, may only be done so when evidence is provided. Any documentation which is provided as proof, can and will, be checked for validity by the Local Authority. (Please see the DfE website for further clarification)
Should your child be taken out of school or accrue absences without the Head Teachers/School’s permission / authorisation for any reason, then the following advice would apply:
Under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 an authorised officer of the City Council has the power to issue each parent/carer with a Penalty Notice for each of their children who fails to attend school regularly. A Penalty Notice is an early deterrent which is intended to prevent more extended periods of unauthorised absence developing.
Penalty notices issued incur a fine of £120 to be paid within 28 days, which is reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days of the notice being served. Failure to pay a penalty notice may result in prosecution.
The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to advise you that we actively monitor every child’s attendance. Should your child incur any unauthorised absences after the date of this letter, then further action, including the issue of a penalty notice or referral to City Solicitors for consideration of a prosecution, may be taken.
Any such penalty notice or prosecution may relate to your child’s attendance record both prior to and subsequent to this letter.
Support and guidance on attendance is always available from our school and if you have any specific queries in relation to this letter, please contact us on the above number.
Changes in the legislation around persistent absences
The Department for Education (DfE) has laid out the new challenge for school attendance by further raising the level at which a child is deemed persistently absent. From September 2015 persistent absence (PA) data will include all pupils whose attendance is 90% or less.
PA will be assessed on a cumulative basis so a pupil can come in and out of the category but in real terms, a child or young person who misses 19 or more days over a full academic year will be classed as persistently absent. Pupils taking unauthorised leave of absence early in the year could be categorised as persistently absent well into half term five but have perfect attendance from their return date onwards.
Persistent absence from school has a detrimental effect on a child’s educational progress and attainment. Over a five year period a child whose attendance is at 90%, will miss a quarter of a school year and an absence of 10 days over the course of one whole school year will result in attendance of below 95%; that’s a lot of lost education.
Support and guidance on attendance and punctuality is always available from our school via our website www.healdplace.manchester.sch.uk/attendance. If you wish to speak to a member of staff about your child’s attendance please contact Suzanne Murgatroyd (Admin Coordinator – HR & Attendance) on 0161 224 7079.