Absence Procedures

It is the responsibility of parents of a child of school age to make sure that their child is educated. Absence from school is recorded either as authorised, where it is approved by the Children and Families Department, or as unauthorised where it is unexplained by the parent (truancy).  Please let the school know by letter or phone if your child is likely to be absent for some time, and give your child a note on his or her return to school, confirming the reason for absence. If there is no explanation from a child’s parents, the absence will be regarded as unauthorised.If there has been no explanation for a child’s absence by 10.00, a truancy call will be made to the child’s parents by the School Office.

Please make every effort to avoid family holidays during term time as this will disrupt your child’s education and reduces learning time. The Headteacher can approve absence from school for a family holiday in certain extreme situations, for example, in traumatic domestic circumstances where the holiday would improve the cohesion and wellbeing of the family. Please discuss your plans with the Headteacher before the holiday. If the Headteacher cannot give permission before the holiday, it will be recorded as unauthorised absence.

The Headteacher can authorise a holiday if you can prove that work commitments make a family holiday impossible during school holiday times. Normally, your employer will need to provide evidence of your work commitments. Absence approved by the Headteacher on this basis is regarded as authorised absence.  Any requests for extended absence over two weeks will be referred to the Senior Education Manager: Inclusion who will decide if it will be recorded as authorised or unauthorised leave.  Parents from minority ethnic religious communities may request permission that their child is absent from school to celebrate recognised religious events. Absence approved on this basis is regarded as authorised absence. Extended leave can also be granted on request for families returning to their country of origin for cultural or care reasons.

A supportive approach is taken to unexplained absence. However the Children and Families Department has legal powers to write to, interview or prosecute parents, or refer pupils to the Reporter to the Children’s Panel, if necessary.