Holt Farm Infant School recognises that positive behaviour and good attendance both play an essential role in order to raise standards of pupil attainment and to give every child/young person the best educational experience possible.
For our children to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. It is a rule of this school that pupils must attend every day, unless there are exceptional circumstances and it is the Head Teacher, not the parent, who can authorise the absences.
Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence can have a serious affect on their academic outcomes and personal development. Any pupil’s absence or late arrival disrupts teaching routines which may affect the learning of others in the same class. Ensuring a child’s regular attendance at school is a parental responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law; persistent absences from school may result in prosecution.
The school’s attendance policy has been developed in consultation with school governors, teachers, the Local Authority and parents and carers. It seeks to ensure that all parties involved in the practicalities of school attendance are aware and informed of attendance matters in school and to outline the schools commitment to attendance matters. It details the responsibilities of individuals and groups involved and the procedures in place to promote and monitor pupil attendance.
Promoting Regular Attendance
Helping to create a pattern of regular attendance is the responsibility of parents, pupils and all members of school staff.
To help us all to focus on this we will:
Give parents/carers details on attendance in our newsletters.
Report to parents/carers termly on their child’s attendance.
Contact parents/carers should their child’s attendance fall below the school’s target for attendance.
Celebrate excellent attendance by displaying and reporting individual and class achievements.
Reward good or better attendance.
Work together to improve the attendance of children.
Understanding Types of Absence
Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school (not by the parent/carer), as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required.
Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason such as illness (although you may be asked to provide medical evidence for your child before this can be authorised), medical or dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies or other unavoidable cause.
Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no ‘leave’ has been given. 5 days (10 sessions) unauthorised, within a 10-week period, can lead to the Local Authority using sanctions and/or legal proceedings which may include issuing each parent with a Penalty Notice for £120, reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days or referring the matter to the Magistrates Court whereby each parent may receive a fine up to £2500 and/or up to 3 months in prison. If you are found guilty in court you will receive a criminal conviction.
Unauthorised absence includes:
Parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily e.g. because they had a late night or for non-infectious illness or injury that would not affect their ability to learn.
Absences which have never been properly explained.
Children who arrive at school too late to get a mark on the attendance register.
Looking after other children or children accompanying siblings or parents to medical appointments.
Celebrating their own or family birthdays.
Holidays taken during term time
Other leave of absence in term time which has not been agreed.
School Attendance and the Law
By law all children of compulsory school age must receive an appropriate full-time education. Parents have a legal duty to ensure their child attends school regularly at the school at which they are registered.
There is no longer any entitlement in law for pupils to take time off during the term to go on holiday. In addition, the Supreme Court has ruled that the definition of regular school attendance is “in accordance with the rules prescribed by the school”.
It is a rule of this school that pupils must attend every day, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 were amended in September 2013. All references to family holidays and extended leave have been removed. The amendments specify that Head Teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are "exceptional circumstances" and they no longer have the discretion to authorise up to ten days of absence each academic year.
COVID - 19
Holt Farm Infant School will implement all DfE policies and guidelines relating to attendance during the Covid-19 pandemic. From September 2022 the expectation continues to be that all pupils will attend school.
A copy of the school's Attendance Policy can be found below.
If you have any questions relating to attendance, please contact the school directly.