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Pupil Absence Requests

Before completing the Leave of Absence Request form please make yourself aware of the following information regarding requesting leave of absence and Penalty Notices.

The Government have recently put further emphasis on school attendance figures. The Government expects schools to promote good attendance and reduce absence, including persistent absence; ensure every pupil has access to suitable education to which they are entitled and act early to address patterns of absence. The Government also expects parents to perform their legal duty by ensuring their children attend school regularly and that all pupils are punctual to their lessons.

Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is a legal responsibility and permitting absence from school without good reason is an offence and may result in prosecution. Holidays during term time are not permitted and are not a parental right. Leave is only granted if it is deemed as an ‘exceptional circumstance’. A family holiday is not recognised as an exceptional circumstance and parents should speak to the Head prior to booking any holidays. If leave is not granted and your child is subsequently absent from school then this period of absence will be recorded as an unauthorised absence and parents are guilty of an offence under section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996. This can result in a Penalty Notice being issued from the Local Authority. Any period of leave without the agreement of school, or in excess of any that is agreed, will be classed as unauthorised and may result in the issue of a Penalty Notice. Any unauthorised absence remains on a child’s record throughout their schooling.

A Penalty Notice is a fine issued by the local authority of £60 per parent, per child and must be paid within 21 days. After 21 days this amount increases to £120 per parent per child if paid within 28 days. Failure to pay after this time can result in a court case and prosecution. This is a criminal offence and will be recorded on a parent/carer’s record as such. Money from such fines does not come to school; it is paid to the Local Authority.

We would like to stress that this ruling is not the school’s decision and we hope that you will continue to work with us to ensure that attendance figures for both your child and our school remain high. Good attendance ensures they have the chance to learn to the best of their ability and form good habits for later life. Ofsted explores school attendance in all their inspections and our grading is affected by the attendance of pupils.

If you have any questions regarding this please do not hesitate to contact school. Alternatively, the Local Authority Attendance Team can be contacted on 01733 863681.