Mr Williams leads our improving attendance and punctuality strategy. He is supported by Mr G.Timms who represents the governing body. Mr Soden and Mrs Langford monitor attendance. The school can make referrals to the local authority for fixed penalty notices and cases of persistent absence.
Pupils are rewarded for consistently good attendance and punctuality – the reward system celebrates good daily, weekly and termly attendance for the pupil. However, senior leaders and governors have concerns about all extended absences, not least in the detriment effect on pupil wellbeing in school and the impact on progress. No term time holidays are authorised and all unauthorised absences that qualify are referred for penalty notice.
What should I do if my child is too unwell to attend school?
Telephone school or record via Talaxy to record that your child will be absent from school.
If the absence continues it is important that you keep in touch with school, if possible.
What is an acceptable level of attendance?
We monitor all students’ attendance and work with students and parents to maintain at least 95% attendance.
Can I request access to my child’s attendance record?
School uses SIMS information management system on which all attendance is recorded. Parents are welcome to see all attendance records for their child. Attendance information can been seen on Talaxy.
What is my child’s attendance falls below the accepted level 95%?
Parents, in the first instance, will receive a letter and asked to contact the school. If attendance fails to improve parents are asked to attend school for a meeting with the assistant head of year, after this meeting no absences are authorised, except under exceptional circumstances. This is an opportunity to discuss any family or home issues that are affecting school attendance. There is an expectation after this meeting that attendance will significantly improve.
The attendance team reviews attendance on a daily, weekly and termly basis. Where attendance falls below 95% they will:
(a) Write to the parents of the children concerned outlining the concerns.
(b) Consider what response or action is required / appropriate – this will vary depending on the individual attendance levels.
(c) Meet with the parents of children concerned to identify any support that may be necessary or needed.
(d) Monitor attendance closely.
What sort of action or response will the headteacher take?
The headteacher will use a range of legal powers to improve attendance.
These can include:
What sort of absence would be acceptable?
In law it is only the headteacher who can accept or reject a reason provided for an absence. The sort of reasons that may be acceptable would include sickness, hospitalisation, religious observance and medical appointments (BUT only if they can’t be taken outside of school hours). However – some absences may still be deemed as unacceptable if the level of attendance is causing concern overall.
What sort of absence will NOT be acceptable?
The sort of absence that would not be acceptable would include: birthdays, buying clothing, parent appointments, going overseas to visit relatives or to undertake an appointment, taking holidays in term time, late night the night before.
If my child needs to be absent necessarily, what should I do?
If your child needs to be absent necessarily, the absence MUST be applied for BEFORE the absence takes place. Parents will need to provide the school with evidence of the necessity of the absence. The sort of evidence might include appointment cards or prescriptions.
Is it true that the headteacher can no longer authorise holidays during term time?
Yes, unless there are very exceptional circumstances. It is only the headteacher that can define what ‘exceptional’ is. However, these circumstances would be VERY rare. As a rule, requests will be refused.
What if I don’t get permission from the school for an absence (such as a holiday) but choose to go anyway?
Then a fixed penalty may be issued. These will be set at £60 if paid within 28 days or £120 if paid within 42 days. Fixed penalties for attendance can only be issued by the Local Authority or Police. The penalties will apply to each child and each parent will be issued separately.
i.e. 2 children taking holiday will equal a £60 penalty each and per parent = £240 penalty for the family.
5 days of unauthorised absences in a term will equate to a fixed penalty notice warning letter may be issued. 10 days of unauthorised absences in a term might equate to a fixed penalty notice.
How will school registers record absence in future?
On each occasion when the register is taken, the school must record one of four ‘status’ codes. These are:
Can I appeal against the headteacher or local authority decision to issue a fixed penalty?
No. There is no right of appeal. Parents who fail to pay within the 42 day limit may be subject to prosecution as a result.
How do I apply for absence approval?
Parents will be able to download a form below or collect one from the school office. The Headteacher will review the request and parents will be notified of his decision.
What is a Fixed Penalty Notice ?
It is a fine for unauthorised absence from school. It does not require a court appearance and does not result in a criminal record. Payment of a Fixed Penalty Notice is an alternative to parents being prosecuted in Magistrates Court.
What is an unauthorised absence?
It is an absence from school that is not justified or considered acceptable by the headteacher. ( Please note, it is Only the Headteacher of your child’s school who can authorise a pupil’s absence)
Who issues Fixed Penalty Notices?
The Local Authority issues them, at the request of the headteachers.
When are they used?
• when a pupil has a minimum of 10 days unauthorised absence in a school year (these do not need to be consecutive days)
• for unauthorised holiday absence . Parents are advised that taking a family holiday during term time may result in an FPN being issued
• If a parent(s) carer(s) do not attempt to engage with the school or Local Authority regarding their child’s absence
• If a child regularly comes to the attention of the police during school hours and is absent from school without an acceptable reason, the police authority may request the Local Authority issue a FPN.
Before a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued, you will receive a warning letter at 5 days unauthorised absence outlining the extent of your child’s absence and the possibility of you receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice. A warning letter does not apply when an unauthorised holiday of 10 days or more is taken during term time. A Fixed Penalty Notice will be issued in these circumstances.
I have received a warning letter and I want to avoid a Penalty Notice. What should I do?
• Ensure that your child attends school every day and arrives on time,
• If your child is ill make sure you make contact with the school on the first day and explain the circumstances
• Avoid arranging holidays during term time.
How much is the fine ?
£ 60 if paid within 28 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120 if paid after this period but within 42 days of receipt. It will be at the discretion of the Local Authority whether to issue an FPN on one or both parents/carers.
How do I pay?
The Penalty Notice will be sent by post to your home address and information on how to pay will be included.
What happens if I do not pay ?
If you do not pay the penalty in full within the maximum allowed timescales of 42 days of issue, the Local Authority will be obliged to start legal proceedings against you for an offence under Section 444 (1) Education Act 1996i.e. for failing to ensure regular school attendance. This may lead to an appearance in the Magistrates court and result in a fine up to £ 1,000 per parent per child.
Can I appeal ?
No, there is no statutory right of appeal. Once a Fixed Penalty Notice has been issues it can only be withdrawn if it can be shown that it was issued in error.
Can I still be prosecuted if i pay the FPN ?
You can be prosecuted for the same period of absence identified in the Fixed Penalty Notice but you may be subsequently prosecuted for further periods of unauthorised absences from school. Each case is considered on an individual basis.
Why is attendance at school so important ?
• Good attendance increases attainment and achievement,
• Good attendance improves opportunities,
• Good attendance supports children and young people and keeps them safer
• Attending school reduces the risks attached to absenteeism.
The Local Authority would rather work with parents/carers to resolve poor attendance than resort to enforcement actions such as Fixed Penalty Notices or Court.
For further help or advice please contact Education Services on :
Education Services Telephone 01824 – 708064
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