For our children to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and your child should be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. 
Parents are responsible for ensuring their children attend school. As a college we will work closely with the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) to support regular attendance.

Regular and punctual attendance of pupils at school is both a legal requirement and essential in order for pupils to maximise the opportunities available to them. The Education Welfare Service will continue to investigate cases of irregular school attendance by undertaking targeted casework intervention and, where appropriate, instigate legal action under the Education Act 1996 for unauthorised absence.

We have set all our students a personal target of 96% as we feel this level of attendance will ensure success in lessons.
Students who have good attendance will –

  • do better in lessons

  • find it easier to make progress

  • feel happier about school

  • receive rewards for good attendance

If your child is absent regularly, they may –

  • find work harder

  • find it difficult to catch up

  • not feel part of the class

  • find it harder to make friends

Since the 1st September 2013, the reference in law to Head teachers being able (at their discretion) to agree up to 10 days of leave of absence has been removed.  Instead, the legal reference will be amended. This will mean that schools should not authorise leave of absence unless:

  • An application has been made in advance by the parent/carer with whom the student normally resides AND

  • The Head considers that there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application

There is no automatic entitlement to time off in school time to go on holiday.  All absences of this nature will be unauthorised. Parents should inform the College of their intention to take unauthorised leave, via the main office.  Parents should be aware that the College will refer parents to the local authority EWO and suggest the award of a Fixed Penalty Notice. 

For unauthorised absence from August 2024, Penalty Notices will increase to £160 per parent per child (discounted to £80 if paid within 21 days).  If there is occasion to issue a second Penalty Notice for unauthorised leave of absence within a rolling 3 year period, it will be issued at the higher rate of £160 per parent per child, with no opportunity to pay at the lower level.  A Penalty Notice cannot be issued if there is a third occasion of unauthorised leave of absence in the rolling 3 year period and it is highly likely that the local authority will take direct prosecution action in the Magistrates’ Court which can result in you receiving a criminal conviction.  Please also be aware that any cases of extended periods of unauthorised absence, linked to holidays or trips away, are highly likely to result in prosecution action by the local authority.

If your child has unauthorised leave of absence prior to the end of the summer term in 2024, you will either be issued with a Penalty Notice of £120 per parent per child (discounted to £60 if paid within 21 days), or, your case will be referred by the Local Authority directly to the Magistrates’ Court.

If a student is not back in school by the 21st school day of the absence, the Local Authority has advised that a Penalty Notice is unlikely to be issued and the matter is likely to proceed to the Magistrates’ Court for prosecution action instead.  The Local Authority has advised that where a parent is found guilty, or where the case is proven against the parent, that this is likely to result in a fine and the parent receiving a criminal record.  This is because parents have a legal duty to ensure their child attends the school where they are on roll regularly.

You are able to view our Parents' Guide to the importance of excellent attendance below: