Attendance  click here for advice

As a school we encourage good attendance. However, children who are too ill to come to school or may pass infection to others should not attend. When children are absent from school we ask parents to inform the school office by 9.00am on the first day of absence . We contact parents if we feel their children is too ill to stay at school.

Leave of absence will be given for attendance at medical or dental appointments or for examinations in music, dance etc. However, where possible such appointments should be made outside of school hours.

This is the advice from the Department for Children, Schools and Families:

“It is wholly appropriate for parents to keep children away from school when they are not well enough to attend lessons. But it is equally inappropriate for parents to keep children away from school for trivial ailments, particularly ailments which would not keep parents away from work. Where schools have concerns…, they can and should challenge the parents’ explanation and seek evidence of the illness.”

If you have arranged for someone other than yourself to collect your child, please communicate this information to an adult in your child's class.

Leave of Absence from School Request

Amendments to the Education (Student Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, in force from 1st September 2013, make clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

In exceptional circumstances, when leave of absence is granted, the Headteacher will determine the number of school days a child or young person can be away from school.

Parents should not plan for their child to be absent from school without gaining prior agreement. Requests for a planned leave of absence under exceptional circumstances should be made at least 4 weeks in advance of the start date of the requested absence, by writing to the Headteacher. The Headteacher cannot retrospectively authorise a planned absence.

Parents can be fined by the Local Authority for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school.

DfE advice


What the law says about attendance

As a parent, you’re legally responsible for making sure your child attends school regularly unless you’re home-educating.

Missing school causes severe disruption to a child’s education, and affects their performance in exams and chances later in life. The law is tough if it’s decided that you allowed your child to miss school (or ‘truant’) regularly. Truancy is best tackled together by parents and school staff. If you suspect your child has not gone to school, contact the school straight away and ask for help. 

Tips on how to help prevent truancy

  • talk to your child about how important it is to attend school
  • ask regularly about how school is going
  • if your child complains of boredom, contact their class teacher, form teacher or head of year to find out more 
  • find out if your child wants to avoid school for a reason that they’re frightened to tell you about - perhaps they’re being bullied

Parenting contracts

parenting contract is a formal, signed agreement between a parent and either the local authority or the school’s governing body. It’s designed to tackle the causes of an individual child missing school.

Under the contract, the parent agrees to make sure their child attends school regularly over a specific period – and the LA/governing body agrees to provide specific support, eg help with transporting the child to school.

You can’t be forced to enter into a parenting contract. But if you’re offered one and refuse, it can be used as evidence against you if you’re prosecuted.

Term-time holidays

Wherever possible, you should take family holidays during school holidays. It’s especially disruptive for your child to miss school days at the start of the school year, when new routines are being set up.

If for some unavoidable reason you want to take your child on holiday in term time, you must send a letter asking permission from the headteacher. Schools will not agree to a child missing more than a total of ten days for family holidays in any school year unless there’s a very good reason.

If you take your child on holiday without the headteacher’s permission, your child will be taking unauthorised absence and you will be reported to the education welfare officer who will take legal action.

Penalty notices and prosecution

Headteachers, education welfare officers (also known as education social workers), whose job is to make sure that children attend school, and police officers may decide to give you penalty notices of £50 to £100 if your child regularly misses school and you have not taken action or asked for help. If you don’t pay a penalty notice you’ll be prosecuted.

Prosecution can result in a fine of up to £2,500, a jail sentence of up to three months or a community sentence.

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