We recognise that persistent lateness is:
- detrimental to the child's education
- administratively disruptive
- a poor preparation for future schooling and adult life.
All pupils arriving after our school day starts at 8:45am have to sign in at the office, with a parent/carer filling out a late slip. Pupils arriving after this time will receive a late mark L and the minutes late will be recorded on ScholarPack. Once our registers have closed at 9:15am, children will receive a U mark which is an unauthorised absence and the minutes late will be recorded on ScholarPack. If the reason for lateness beyond 9.15am/1.15pm is an exceptional circumstance as agreed by the Headteacher then code L may be used.
Parents whose children regularly arrive late will receive warning letters from school. If warning letters are ignored and punctuality does not improve, the child’s parent will be invited to a meeting with the Head Teacher. Extreme cases may be referred to the Early Help Attendance Enforcement team.
Parents are asked to make contact by 8:45am on the first day of absence, by telephone call or e-mail to the school office, informing the school of the reason for the absence and/or nature of any illness. Parents are also asked to inform the school if there is a likely return date. For absences beyond one day, the parent/carer must phone the school each day to provide an update on their child’s condition.
Messages made to the school office are noted on an absence record and subsequently logged as either ‘authorised absence’ or ‘unauthorised absence’. Only the school can make the absence authorised. Parents do not have authority to authorise their child’s absence.
ALL absence will be recorded as unauthorised unless evidence is provided to prove otherwise. It is school policy that if a child is off for more than 5 days then medical evidence must be provided to authorise the absence.
If school are not provided with a reason for absence, the parent will send a text message by 9:15am in line with our 1st day calling procedures (more details can be found below, and in our Attendance and Punctuality Policy).
For medical appointments, a medical certificate, doctor’s letter, prescription copy or similar proof will need to be provided before the child’s absence will be authorised. Medical proof from a doctor may be required in order to authorise illness-related absences if your child has been identified as a persistent absentee (below 90% attendance). Where any medical proof does not appear to be genuine, we do visit the practice named and asked for it to be authenticated.
The school will follow up any absences to ascertain the reason, ensure proper safeguarding action is taken where necessary, identify whether the absence is approved or not and identify the correct attendance code to use.
Unexplained absences will be followed up from day 1 using the following process:
- If no reason has been provided by 10:00am on the first day of absence, a text message will be sent to request a reason is provided by 10:30am.
- If no reason has been provided by 10:30am, members of school staff will carry out a home visit. A calling card will be left if there is no answer during the home visit, requesting urgent contact.
- If no contact has been received by 10:00am on day 2, the school’s senior leadership team will consider contacting the police to arrange a Safe and Well Check.
If we have reason to believe the child is missing from education a safeguarding referral will be made to the local authority CMO.
Leave of absence
Parents wishing to request a leave of absence should complete an Application for Withdrawal from Learning form, explaining the circumstances and providing a minimum of 4 weeks’ notice. School will then inform parents/carers as to whether the application has been granted or not and outline potential further action if the absence is taken.
The Government issued new regulations in September 2013 regarding Leave of Absence: the Education (Pupil Regulations) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended by Education (Pupil Regulations) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013. The Government and Local Authority strongly urge parents/carers to avoid taking their children out of school as this will disrupt their education and progress.
Headteachers shall not grant any ‘Leave of Absence’ during term time unless they consider there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application. All leave of absence requests will be unauthorised unless the circumstances are exceptional.
A parent/carer should complete an Application for Withdrawal from Learning form (available from the school office) and submit this to the school prior to booking any holidays. School will respond to the request within two weeks. Parents/carers do not have any entitlement to take their child on holiday during term time. Any application for leave must establish that there are exceptional circumstances and the headteacher must be satisfied that the circumstances warrant the granting of leave.
Applications for ‘Leave of Absence’ which are unauthorised may result in a fine.
Our full Attendance and Punctuality policy can be found on the policies page.
In line with Nottinghamshire Local Authority regulations, any unauthorised leave of absence, whether for holidays, (persistent) lateness beyond 9.15am and 1.15pm, or any other form of unauthorised absence, of more than 3 days or 6 half day sessions (over a 6 week rolling period) will lead to parents/carers being issued with an Education Penalty Notice per child:
- If paid within 21 days, the fine will be £60 per child
- If paid after 21 days, the fine will be £120 per child
All adults responsible for care of the child can be fined. Payment must be paid direct to the Local Authority and parents can be prosecuted if 28 days have expired and full payment has not been made. Where a fine remains unpaid, the matter will be enforced at the Magistrates Court. The maximum fine for this offence is up to £1000 per parent, per child. The school does not receive any money from fines paid.
The Local Authority will not issue more than two Education Penalty Notices per calendar year to any person taking more than two periods of unauthorised absence. Where further absences occur or where the Local Authority deems it appropriate, enforcement will be dealt with directly through the Magistrate Court.