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Our Trust of Schools

All About Attendance

Why does good attendance matter?

A good education can be the cornerstone of future life opportunities. Missing school can leave gaps in knowledge and understanding and also place the pupil at a disadvantage in both their educational development and potentially in their GCSE success.

Beyond qualifications, going to school every day is crucial for a number of reasons:

  • It is the best place for pupils to learn and develop both academically and personally.
  • It is good preparation for college or work. Colleges and employers expect a history of good attendance.
  • Parents will know where their children are and that they are safe.
  • It is a legal requirement.

The Law and School Attendance

The 1996 Education Act (s7) places a legal responsibility upon parents/carers to ensure that their child fully attends the school at which they are registered. This means that your child must attend school every day and on time (unless as parents/carers you can prove that the absence was with the authorisation of the school or that it was unavoidable).

If your child has unauthorised absences then the school can make a request to the Local Education Authority (through the Education Welfare Service) to instigate Parental Responsibility Measures. If you have Parental Responsibility, this could mean receiving any of the following:

  • A Penalty Notice - Should a Penalty Notice be issued, one notice will be issued to each parent/carer for each child involved.Currently, each Penalty Notice is for £120, which is reduced to £60 if paid within the first 21 days. If a Penalty Notice goes unpaid after 28 days, then a Magistrates Summons will be issued. Also, if a Penalty Notice has already been issued within the previous 2 years then the Local Authority could proceed straight to Magistrates Summons.
  • A Magistrates Summons that could lead to a criminal record, a fine of up to £2,500 and/or a term of imprisonment for up to 3 months

Holidays and avoidable absence in term time

As of September 2013, an amendment to the Education (Pupil Registration)(England) Regulations 2006 came into force and greater clarity was introduced to the issue of schools authorising absence requests. These changes reinforced the Government’s view that every minute of every school day is vital and that pupils should only be granted authorised absences by the school in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

A family holiday is not considered by the Government to be an ‘exceptional circumstance’ and therefore may not be authorised by the school. Only the Headteacher can authorise absence.

If you would like a ‘leave’ request to be considered for authorisation due to exceptional circumstances, please request, complete and return an ‘S2 form’ to the school - access via link or at the end of this page.

Should you choose to take your child out of school without the authorisation of the school, then Parental Responsibility Measures could be instigated (see The Law and Attendance).

What does missed attendance look like?

A 96% attendance rate is the minimum expectation for our school (unless the absence is unavoidable and/or authorised by the school).

An attendance rate of 96% means that over one school year, the pupil has missed 1.5 weeks or 35 lessons of school. Over the course of a pupil's- 11 years of compulsory school that could mean 16.5 weeks or 83 missed days of education (almost half a year!)

Reporting absence

Please email us using [email protected]

Alternatively, you can call 01392 714140 selecting the option for reporting an absence. If you leave a voicemail please state clearly your child’s full name, year group and the reason for being off School.