If your child is absent you must:
- Contact us as soon as possible on the first day of absence, either by phone or you can call into school and report to reception.
If your child is absent we will:
- Telephone you on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you we will do a home visit;
- Invite you in to discuss the situation with our in-school Attendance Lead and/or Headteacher if absences persist;
- Refer the matter to the Local Authority School Attendance Team where appropriate as per Local Authority protocol.
Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If your child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the day. Late arriving pupils also disrupt lessons, which can be embarrassing for the child and can in turn, encourage absence. Being 10 minutes late every day throughout the academic year is the same as missing two weeks of school.
How we manage lateness: Our gates are open from 8:40am and close at 8:55am, when the school day starts and we expect your child to be in class at that time. Registers are marked by 9.10am and your child will receive a late mark if they are not in by that time. At 9.30am the registers will be closed. In accordance with the Regulations, if your child arrives after that time they will receive a mark that shows them to be on site, but this will not count as a present mark and it will mean they have an unauthorised absence. This may mean that you could face the possibility of a Penalty Notice if the problem persists. If your child has a persistent late record you will be asked to meet with the Headteacher and/or a member of the pastoral support team to resolve the problem, but you can approach us at any time if you are having problems getting your child to school on time.
Leave of Absence in Term Time
By law, parents and carers of children registered at school are responsible for ensuring that their children attend school regularly. If they fail to do this they are guilty of an offence and may be given a penalty notice or prosecuted under section 444 of the Education Act 1996.
Children should attend school every day so that they make the most of the education available to them. We understand that there may be occasions when a child is unwell and is not able to come in to school, but this should be kept to a minimum.
Parents and carers must avoid taking their children out of school during term time.
The Governing Body have instructed that authorisation for absence will not be given for absence during term time. Holidays should be taken during the school breaks and not during term time. However, in exceptional circumstances, permission may be given by the Headteacher.
Amendments to the 2006 Education Act make clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. It is clear that parents and carers do not have any right to take a child out of school during term time except in extenuating circumstances. In most cases the Headteacher will refuse to authorise term time leave, however, each case will be considered on its individual merits.
How we deal with requests for term-time absence
Cherry Fold Community Primary School has a very strict policy about term time holidays. Our policy is to refuse all applications for holidays during term time. As a school, we are no longer prepared to accept that our children will miss out on their education due to absence during term time. Children are at school for 190 days in the year. That leaves 175 days for holidays and other trips.
How to apply for special leave during term time
Please complete the Application for Leave of Absence during Term Time form. Our office staff can provide you with a copy. This must be done at least 2 weeks in advance of the date of the proposed leave. You should expect to hear from us within 5 working days. Term time holidays will NOT BE AUTHORISED unless there are exceptional circumstances which might justify it. Each case will be considered on its individual merits
What are exceptional circumstances?
It is the decision of the Headteacher as to what might constitute exceptional circumstances and each request for term time leave will be considered on an individual basis.
Exceptional leave is NOT:
- Availability of cheap flights and/or holidays
- Availability of desired accommodation
- Parent/carer work commitments
- Poor weather experienced during school holiday periods
- Overlap with the beginning or end of term, half term.
Exceptional leave MAY be:
- Grandparent or other close relative is seriously ill – and you must leave in an emergency
- Significant trauma in the family recently and a holiday will benefit the child – this must be backed up by a doctor’s letter
- A one-off, never to be repeated occasion that can only happen at that time, eg family wedding/funeral.
What if we decide to go anyway?
If the Headteacher has not authorised the leave, and your child is out of school for between half a day and four days then you are at risk of a fine. If it is five days or more, you will receive a minimum fine of £60 per child. If your child remains out of school for more than 10 days then you risk losing your child’s place.
If the time out of school makes your child’s attendance drop below 90%, then they are known as ‘persistently absent’. This means that the Government have given schools new powers to deal with this through the courts. This means facing possible prosecution.
Please don’t take your child out of school during term time, it disrupts your child’s learning and you risk financial penalties.
If we authorise your special leave
If we do authorise a leave of absence under exceptional circumstances, you must understand the educational impact upon your child. We will also explain what work your child will miss at school, and agree with you how this may be addressed, either during the holiday or upon your return. Taking work with you on special leave is no substitute for classroom teaching.
If we do authorise your leave you will receive a copy of the signed form which confirms the dates when your child will be absent and the agreed date for return. It can only be signed only by the Headteacher. A copy will be kept on your child’s file for our records.