We appreciate that children are unwell from time to time and that there can be exceptional circumstances for absences, but we ask that you think carefully about keeping your child out of school. There is a strong connection between attendance and achievement at school. Absence is proven to have a significant negative impact upon a child’s educational attainment.
Studies have shown that attainment is better if attendance is high. Poor attendance could affect your child’s examination results and therefore limit their job/career opportunities. Research has shown that 17 days absence in a year results in a drop of one grade at GCSE.
A first class education requires full attendance.
Reporting a Child’s Absence
By law, schools must record absences and the reason. You are, therefore, requested to contact the school’s Student Absence Line – 01268 474500 – by 8.30am not only on the first but every morning of absence stating your name, the student’s name and form, full reason for absence (if due to illness the nature of the ailment must be stated). You should also call this number if your child is going to be late for school.
On their return to school you must then send a note, addressed to the Attendance Team, explaining the full reason for absence along with any medical evidence i.e. copy of a prescription, prescribed medication packaging, or a doctor’s letter.
Medical and dental appointments should be made outside of school hours, unless specialist hospital appointments have to be kept or it is a medical/dental emergency. The Attendance Team should be informed in advance of any such absences and a copy of the relevant appointment card/hospital letter should be sent in for their attention.
Failure to supply relevant medical evidence where requested and poor attendance may result in a referral to The Local Authority who may issue a Penalty Notice for £60 if paid within 21 days or £120 within 28 days to each parent for each child. If the higher penalty is not paid within 28 days, the Local Authority may then institute legal proceedings against you in the magistrate’s court under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996 for failing to ensure your child attends school regularly.
What is authorised and unauthorised absence?
Only the school can authorise an absence. An explanation given by a parent/carer is not always sufficient for the school to authorise an absence. According to guidelines to schools from the DfE an absence may only be authorised if the absence is due to:
- Genuine pupil illness
- ‘Leave’ given by the school (this commonly includes emergency medical appointment and other similar circumstances).
- The pupil being unable to attend due to unavoidable causes.
- Religious observance where applicable.
Absences which the school is not able to authorise include:
- Looking after a relative, pet etc.
- A shopping trip.
- Day trips.
- Lateness after the register has closed i.e. after 8.55 am.
- Being unable to participate in a school activity, e.g. school trip, activity days.
- Remaining at home to wait for deliveries, repair men etc.
- Meeting relatives from/taking relatives to the airport.
Leave of Absence Due to Exceptional Circumstances
Taking your child out of school during term time is detrimental to your child’s educational progress. A student who takes 10 days absence will have missed 50 hours of lessons. There is NO legal entitlement for parents to take their child out of school during term time.
As from 1st September 2013 changes in the Education Regulations 2006 Section 7 state that Headteachers may no longer grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Family holidays do not come under this criterion. If absence is not authorised and the time is still taken, the case may be referred to the Local Authority who may issue a Penalty Notice for £60 if paid within 21 days or £120 within 28 days to each parent for each child. If the higher penalty is not paid within 28 days, the Local Authority may then institute legal proceedings against you in the magistrate’s court under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996 for failing to ensure your child attends school regularly.
Across Essex numerous fines have been issued to parents taking children out of school for holidays during term time.
At The Bromfords School and Sixth Form College we work closely with the Local Authority who issue Penalty Notices for irregular school attendance and unauthorised leave of absence and we will continue to do so.
Should you have any queries or concerns regarding School Attendance please email Attendanceoffice@bromfords.essex.sch.uk.
Application for Student Leave in Term Time Due To Exceptional Circumstances Click Here
Attendance Policy Click Here
Attendance Guide for Parents Click Here