Parents & Students

Changes to attendance and holidays

Following the letter sent out last half-term and notification in the school newsletter, please may I remind you of the changes from the Local Authority to unauthorised holidays and penalty notices that will come into effect from the 1st January 2018.

“From 1 January 2018 any period of unauthorised leave may result in you as a parent receiving a penalty notice fine. Your head teacher will continue to be the only person able to authorise leave in term time, but this will apply only in exceptional circumstances. Any unauthorised absence will be referred by your head teacher to the local authority.

Penalty Notice for persistent lateness

Previously a pupil had to achieve 20 unauthorised late marks before a penalty notice warning could be issued. This has now changed to 10 marks, and late marks do not have to be one after the
other in order for the penalty notice to be issued. You are therefore encouraged to ensure your child attends school on time. However, if your child is late you must inform the school of the
reason(s) why, as they may be able to offer you some form of advice or support.

Period of time used to measure persistent absence and lateness

If your child has had 10 days unauthorised absence or is late 10 times over a twelve week period, you may receive a penalty warning notice and also potentially a fine.

These changes have been agreed with local head teachers and have been implemented to help
promote and support good attendance to school. Further details and a copy of the revised Code of Conduct for issuing Penalty Notices can be obtained from the council’s website www.staffordshire.gov.uk/education.”

The Local Authority also provides guidance for Headteachers on what constitutes ‘exceptional
circumstances’ (see below). These are not exhaustive but do give some idea of when holidays can/cannot be granted. If you do wish to apply for a holiday in term time you must complete the
holiday request form which are available from reception. You will receive a letter that confirms the request has been granted or the reasons for why it is rejected. Your child’s current
attendance will be looked at closely when reaching a decision.

  • It is important to note that head teachers can determine the length of the authorised absence as well as whether absence is authorised at all.
  • The default school policy should be that absences will not be granted during term time and will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances
  • If an event can reasonably be scheduled outside of term time then it would not normally be
    authorised
  • Absences to visit family members are also not normally granted during term time if they could be scheduled for holiday periods. Children may, however, need time to visit seriously ill close family members, this would not be for an extended period.
  • Absence for a bereavement of a close family member is usually considered an exceptional
    circumstance but for the funeral service only, not extended leave.
  • The fundamental principles a school may wish to adopt for defining ‘exceptional’ are rare,
    significant, unavoidable and short. Unavoidable meaning an event that could not reasonably be scheduled at another time.

As ever, we will continue to work with you to support your child’s attendance and ask that, if you have any concerns or need support, please do not hesitate to contact either your child’s Pastoral Lead, or Mrs Barlow, our Education Welfare Worker.