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. Where there is unauthorised absence, Penalty Notices will be issued. The law with regard to Penalty Notices is also changing as follows:
The periods during which a Penalty Notice should be paid are shortening. For unauthorised absence the amount of the penalty to be paid will be:
- £60 per parent per child if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice and
- £120 per parent per child if paid within 28 days
Where a Penalty Notice remains unpaid, legal action will be pursued by the Local Authority.
Parents also face prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court; a fine of up to £2,500 or a community penalty could be imposed together with a Parenting Order. A criminal record will then exist for the parent.
Click on our parent and student guide below to view the importance of excellent attendance.