School Attendance and the Law Under the 1996 Education Act, parents and carers are responsible for ensuring their children attend school regularly and punctually. Failure to do so could result in legal action being taken against them by the Local Authority. The register is a legal document and schools must, under the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006 take a register at the start of the morning session, and again during the afternoon session. Statutory registration codes must be used (see appendix A) 4 Under the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006, only the school (and not parents / carers) can authorise an absence. Where the reason for the pupil’s absence cannot be established at the time the register is taken, that absence shall be recorded as unauthorised. If a reason for absence is provided by the parent / carer, the school may decide to grant leave of absence which must be recorded as authorised using the appropriate national code. The Education (Pupil Registration – England) In compliance with the Education Act 436A (Chapter 2 Part 6) all our academies will, after making appropriate checks, report all children Missing from Education to the Local Authority. The LA has a duty to investigate the whereabouts of such children and negotiate their prompt return to suitable education.
With effect from September 2013 schools can only authorise leave requests for pupils in exceptional circumstances. The local authority have identified what is meant by ‘exceptional circumstances’ and these are listed below.
Significant family bereavement i.e. mother [step], father [step], principal carer or sibling
Significant family illness to mother [step], father [step], sibling or principal carer
No leave for holidays can be authorised for any period of time under any circumstances. Requests for family holidays, leave for weddings or to see relatives etc. is not deemed exceptional circumstances. Unauthorised absence from school can result in fines of £60 per child per parent/carer and ultimately removal from the school’s role/registers. Requests for leave should be made on the appropriate form which is available from school reception. If anyone wishes to talk about personal circumstances please contact school to make an appointment.
It is your legal responsibility to ensure that your child attends school regularly and punctually each time the school is open. Should parents fail to do this, then information may be placed before the Magistrates and, if convicted, they could be issued with a Parenting Order, fined up to a maximum of £2,500 and/or receive 12 weeks imprisonment. If you have any questions regarding this information, contact your child’s school or Education Welfare Service on 01332 641448.
We ask all Parents/Carers to inform the school office of any absences by 9.00 am. All children are expected to be in school and in their class seated ready for registration by 8.50 am (Years 3 and 4) and by 9.00am (Years 5 and 6). If a child is late for school, we ask that parents accompany their child to the main reception and complete the 'Late Slip' which documents the reason for lateness.
We constantly monitor attendance and lates, if your child’s attendance drops below 95% we will contact you to inform you and discuss. If the percentage falls below 90% it will then fall into the persistent absence category. We would then invite you in for a meeting to discuss, which may also be attended by the Education Welfare department. When your child’s attendance falls below 90%, we will no longer be able to authorise any further absences without medical evidence.
This could be:
An appointment card/letter with the child’s details on;
Text confirmation of appointment from the surgery
A compliment slip signed by someone at the surgery/dentist with the child’s details on;
The second part of the prescription;
The labels from the medication.
It is important that where possible any medical appointment or dental check-ups are made out of school hours
REWARDS & INCENTIVES
We like to recognise persistently good attendance, some of the ways in which we do this are:
- Yearly and Termly prize draw for 100% attendance.
- Weekly class treat for class with highest weekly attendance.
- Attendance display and winning class/children celebrated weekly.
- Dojos and praise from class teacher for good and improved attendance