If your child is absent from school, please let us know why, both in writing and with a quick telephone call. The law requires us to regard any absence or lateness for which we do not have an explanation as ‘unauthorised’ and these must be noted on your child’s annual report. The Education (School Information) Regulations 1993 state that we have to give information regarding attendance rates. During 2010/2011, we have had 444 children on roll. Our rate for authorised absence is 3.98%, and for unauthorised absence 0.34%.
Research suggests that children who miss school or are taken out of school may never catch up on the work that they have missed. (A child with 90% attendance will have missed the equivalent of a half day each week).
This can affect their education and overall outcome at the end of their school years and beyond.
The law states that parents/carers have a duty to ensure that their children receive a suitable education and do not have the automatic right to take their children out of school for holidays in term time.
Referrals can be made to the Education Welfare Service for any child whose attendance causes concern.
The Headteacher has the discretion to decide whether absence can be authorised and whether a holiday in term time can be authorised or not. In the exceptional circumstances that a holiday application is put in, a school can allow parents to take their children out of school for up to 10 days in a school year.
In the event of a parent putting in an application for their child to be removed for a holiday in term time, various factors will be considered including the following:-
- The age of the child and the time and duration of the requested leave. Leave is not recommended during the first year at a new school and at the start of any new term, particularly when new work and new friendships are so important.
- The child’s current level of attendance and whether it is below the expected 95% mark or not.
- The child’s ability.
- Whether leave has been requested during, or close to, examination times or SATS in year 6.
In the event that a school turns down an application for leave but the child is still taken out of school, this will be registered as unauthorised absence and a penalty notice maybe issued. In most cases, a referral will also be made to the Education Welfare Officer.
In cases where a child may have been taken out of school to visit relatives in another country and the period of absence has been authorised and agreed, parents must ensure that their child is back at school on the agreed date. In cases where a child has been absent over the agreed holiday time and this has exceeded 20 school days, the Education Welfare Officer will be informed and a missing children procedure will then be carried out involving the Police, Housing and Social Services.
Bournemouth is committed to working with parents and carers to promote and enable children and young people to attend school regularly and to have opportunities to fulfil their potential. However, the Local Authority can issue Penalty Notices or institute legal proceedings if parents/carers do not cooperate in ensuring their child’s attendance at school.
N.B. early booking deals for holidays in school holidays can be found on www.parentscentre.gov.uk/everylessoncounts