Why is attendance important?
It is parents’ legal responsibility to ensure their child receives an appropriate education. Poor attendance disrupts your child’s education as well as their peers. Good attendance is important because:
- statistics show a direct relation between underachievement and poor attendance;
- regular attenders make better progress academically;
- regular attenders make better progress socially.
Failing to send your child to school without good reason is a criminal offence. The table below demonstrates the impact poor attendance can have on your child’s education.
The minimum expected target for attendance is 95%. Research shows that attendance below this figure has a detrimental effect on your child’s education. By Year 4, a primary school pupil who has averaged 80% attendance during Reception to Year 4 will have missed the equivalent of one year of education.
By Year 11, a secondary school student who has averaged 80% attendance during Year 7 to Year 11 will have missed the equivalent of one year of education.
Some absences are allowed by law to be recorded on the school register as ‘authorised’, for example, if your child is ill. Where there is persistent illness, you will be asked to supply medical documentation demonstrating that your child has been seen by a relevant healthcare professional. Non urgent medical and dentist appointments must be made outside of school hours; if for any reason this is not possible, parents are asked to inform the school as soon as possible.
We understand that there may be rare occasions where there may be a particular circumstance problem that means your child is absent. Please let us know beforehand so we can deal with the situation sympathetically.
Whenever your child is absent from school, could you please contact the office before 8:45am on the day of absence and also provide a written note explaining the absence when your child returns to school.
Please note: It is down to the school to decide whether absence is classified as authorised. Where the school is not satisfied with the reason(s) supplied for an absence, this will be recorded as ‘unauthorised absence’ and will be investigated further.
If your child is absent from school for a reason which is not permitted by law, this will be recorded on the school register as ‘unauthorised absence’. Examples of unauthorised absence are:
- Staying off due to birthday
- Family gathering/visiting family
- Issues with transport resulting in student being absent
- Family day out
- Going on holiday
- Sleeping in and staying off
- Parental illness
An absence will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’ when an explanation has not been provided for an absence, or when the school is not satisfied with the reason provided.
Holiday/Planned Absence During Term Time
There are strict regulations regarding the holidays during term time issued by the Government. The Principal is not allowed by law to grant holidays during term time. Parents have no entitlement to remove their child from education to go on holiday unless there is an exceptional circumstance. The law states: “Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances”
Any parent who is wishing to remove their child from school for any period of time must write to the Principal in advance to seek permission. However, it is extremely unlikely that this will be granted.
Fixed Penalty Notice
The school has powers to request that the Local Authority issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) for poor attendance and punctuality. Fixed Penalty Notices can be issued when a pupil of compulsory school age has been absent and the absence has not been authorised, or where a pupil has persistently arrived late after the register has been taken. A FPN is currently:
- £60 per child if the Penalty Notice is paid within 21 days.
- £120 per child if paid after 21 days but within 28 days.
More information about how Fixed Penalty Notices work can be found on the Council’s website. At the bottom of the page is a PDF document detailing all of the rules and regulations relating to Fixed Penalty Notices.