Why must my child go to school regularly?
Regular school attendance is essential if pupils are to achieve their full potential. We believe that regular school attendance is the key to enabling pupils to maximise the educational opportunities available to them and become emotionally resilient, confident and competent adults, able to realise their full potential and make a positive contribution to their community.
What should I do? Make sure that your child goes to school regularly and arrives on time. If your child is absent you must contact the school on the first day of absence and give the reason. If you want permission for your child to miss school due to an exceptional circumstance, you must apply for permission well in advance and give full details. Absences can only be authorised by the school. Do not expect the school to agree to shopping trips during school hours, day trips, birthdays, holidays or for looking after a brother or sister. Support the school in its efforts to ensure good behaviour.
What if there are concerns about my child’s attendance? We recognise that poor attendance is often an indication of difficulties in a child’s life. This may be related to problems at home and or in school. Parents should make school aware of any difficulties or changes in circumstances that may affect their child’s attendance. This will help the school identify any additional support that may be required and implement a range of strategies to support improved attendance. Support offered to families will be in the form of a Parenting Contract which will be child centred and planned in discussion and agreement with both parents/carers and pupils.
Can I take my child out of school for a holiday? Parents do not have a right or entitlement to take their child out of school during term time for any reason. If you need to take your child out of school due to an exceptional circumstance, you must write to request permission from the school Principal. Each request will be considered individually. If permission is not granted and you still take your child out of school, the absence will be classified as unauthorised.
What about medical appointments? Where possible, every attempt should be made to arrange such appointments outside school hours. The school should be notified of any appointments held within school time. Where possible your son/daughter should return to school after the appointment.
The Law By law, all children of compulsory school age must attend full-time education. As a parent/carer you are committing an offence if you fail to make sure that your child attends school regularly. A minimum of 2 1/2 days (5 sessions) of unauthorised absence may result in the issuing of a Penalty Notice. Each penalty notice incurs a fine of £120 if paid within 28 days which is reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days of the notice being served. Failure to pay a penalty notice may result in prosecution for the period to which the notice relates.