Please leave a clear message stating the child’s name, class and reason for absence.
Our Pastoral Support Worker, Sam Boyd, and Associate Principal, Mrs Fish, will work with children and their families to ensure that school attendance levels are good. If pupils are not in school they cannot learn – persistent and unexplained absence will result in direct communication with home. In extreme cases, or where it is felt that there is a particular need, outside agencies will become involved.
In light of recent legislation, Elm Academy as a rule is unable to authorise family holidays in school time.
In the event of accident, injury or illness while the child is at school, the appropriate procedures will be followed and the parent/carer informed. The parents/carers may be requested to collect the child from the Academy in these circumstances. In the event of a serious accident or injury sustained by the child outside of school time, to ensure their safety, we may require that the parent/carer keep the child at home for a reasonable period before returning to school. If appropriate a risk assessment will be completed.
Fast Track Prosecution:
Attendance at school is a legal requirement and as a parent/carer it is your duty to ensure regular attendance at school for your child/ren. As an Academy we work hard to support parents/carers but have a duty to report matters of poor school attendance to the Local Authority Education Social Worker at regular intervals.
Under Section 444 of the 1996 Education Act parents/carers may be fined up to £2,500 per parent/carer per child for failure to ensure regular school attendance.
In September 2004 the Government requested adoption of a fast track process where parents/carers will receive a court hearing within a 12 week period from referral to the Education Welfare Service. We would be grateful therefore if you could contact us to discuss any issues which may prevent school attendance at the earliest opportunity.
Requests for Leave of Absence in Term Time.
If pupils are to reach their potential they need to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. Regular, uninterrupted school attendance is a key factor in helping pupils reach their potential. Every effort should always be made to avoid disruption to a pupil’s education.
Following amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 which came into effect 1st September 2013, Head Teachers are only allowed to grant leave of absence from school in exceptional circumstances. The decision as to whether any request is considered as ‘exceptional circumstances’ rests solely with the Head Teacher.
The fundamental principles for defining ‘exceptional’ are rare, significant, unavoidable and short; ‘unavoidable’ should be taken to mean an event that could not reasonably be scheduled at another time.
In considering whether or not to authorise a request for exceptional leave of absence in term time the Head Teacher will look at each individual case and only grant authorisation if the circumstances are truly exceptional. Additionally, any request should be made prior to the leave of absence and should be submitted to the school using the Request for Leave of Absence form. Parents/Carers may be asked to provide additional information/evidence or meet with the school to discuss the circumstances.
Parents/Carers will be notified of the Head Teacher’s decision at the earliest opportunity. If the circumstances are not considered to be exceptional then parents/carers will be informed of this and made aware that the Local Authority may be asked to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Penalty Notices involve each parent/carer paying a fine currently of £50.00 if paid within 28 days of issue or £100 if paid within 42 days of issue. If the fine is not paid in full within these set time scales, prosecution in the court under Section 444 of the 1996 Education Act will be pursued by the Education Social Work Service.
Penalty Notices will be issued by the Education Social Work Service and can only be issued in cases of unauthorised absence. The issuing of a penalty notice is considered appropriate in the following circumstances:
- Regular overt truancy
- Parentally condoned absences
- Excessive delayed return from extended holidays without prior Academy agreement
- Persistent late arrival at school (school gates close at 09.00 am and all children are expected to be in class before that time).