In September 2013 the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 came into force. These regulations make it clear that Headteachers should not grant approval for any leave of absence during term-time, including holidays, unless there are exceptional circumstances. These regulations also state that holidays cannot be authorised retrospectively.
Any requests should be on an official school absence request form and handed into the school office for consideration prior to any holiday/leave arrangements being made.
You may be issued with a Penalty Notice should leave be taken which is not authorised. If unpaid this could lead to prosecution under section 444(1) of The Education Act 1996.
Advice for Parents - see School Policy Page
The Importance of School Attendance
The whole school team at Hathersage St. Michael's CE (A) Primary are incredibly proud of our school family and we want our children to enjoy coming to school. Our attendance ‘ target’ is 96%, however, we strive for 100%.
Research has shown that there is a high correlation between school attendance and academic performance and success. Absence from school is often the greatest single cause of poor performance and achievement, which will ultimately limit our children’s life chances – a consequence which I know we all want to avoid (we want our children to be able to apply for their dream job and be happy adults).
Why is it so important to attend every day?
- Learning is a progressive activity; each day’s lessons build upon those of the previous day(s).
- Reading the material and completing work independently does not compensate for direct interaction with the teacher (and their peers).
- Many classes use discussions, demonstrations, experiments and participation as part of the daily learning activities, and these cannot be repeated for those who are absent.
Are there other benefits to my child?
- Pupils with good attendance records generally achieve more highly and enjoy school more.
- Having a good education will help to give your child the best possible start in life.
- Regular school attendance patterns encourage the development of other responsible patterns of behaviour.
What are the risks of frequent absences?
- A child who does not attend school regularly will be unlikely to keep up with the work.
- The more pupils miss school, the lower they achieve; the lower they achieve, the less they want to stay in school.
- As a child who is frequently absent cannot draw upon prior learning, they will find lessons challenging and their self-confidence and self-esteem will suffer.
- Children who are regularly absent from school feel that they have missed out on shared experiences with their friends and they can feel isolated.
What can parents do to help?
- Parents must model the value of education, including the importance of regular attendance.
- Make sure that your child attends school regularly and arrives on time, they will then establish a good habit that they will carry through life.
- If your child starts missing school, please contact us and we will work together to put a plan in place which quickly addresses any issues. Make sure your child understands that you do not approve of him/her missing school.
- If your child is ill or must miss school for some other reason, contact school immediately.
- Schools cannot approve shopping trips, birthday treats or day trips during school hours. Please arrange family holidays so that your child will not miss any learning and ensure that you are aware of critical assessment periods. Y6 SATS tests are statutory and a celebration of your child’s academic success.
- Take an interest in your child’s school work and try be involved in the school as much as possible, your child will value school if you do.
Leave of Absence in Term Time
From 1st September 2013, a change to government legislation means that schools are no longer allowed to authorise requests for children to be taken out of school for a holiday during term time.
Requests for leave can only be granted by schools if there are “exceptional circumstances” and holidays are not considered exceptional. Requests for leave must be made to the head teacher in advance, as the Department for Education have told schools that they cannot authorise any absences after they have been taken.
You may be issued with a Penalty Notice should leave be taken which is not authorised. If unpaid, this could lead to prosecution under section 444(1) of The Education Act 1996.
A penalty notice is a fine to parents or carers if they fail to ensure that their child/ren attend school regularly.
If a penalty notice is issued, it will be one fine to cover the whole period of the absence. The fine would be the same amount for an absence of five days or 10 days. For example, a parent could be issued with £60.00 fine if their child misses one day of school each week over a five-week period, whilst another parent might be issued the same fine for one two-week block of absence.
Penalty fines are £60.00 per child per parent if paid within 21 days, and £120 if paid between 22 and 28 days. If the fine is not paid, parents will be reported for prosecution.
PLEASE REMEMBER – Regular attendance is necessary for success in school. Please help us to ensure that your child has the best opportunity for success and life choices, by attending every day. If you require support in order to make this happen, please contact me in the usual way and we will ensure we act quickly to resolve any issues.
Fiona Jackson, Headteacher