Holiday Absence - Message from Mr Cox
Attendance Matters – Implications for unauthorised and holiday absence
In all cases, parents are expected to contact the school as soon as possible to explain why their child is absent. Please call the school office on 01270 918988- a message can be left.
Without exceptional circumstances such as time off restrictions by work- evidenced by the company, time off will not be authorised. More than 4 days of unauthorised absence in a rolling 12 months will result in a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued. The fine will amount to a maximum of £60 per child and will be applied to both parents, or to one parent in a single parent family. This will be paid to the Local Authority and will double if paid late. The message therefore is please do not take your child out of school for a holiday. If you do, expect to be fined and your child will fall behind their peers, having missed important learning.
The following are not considered exceptional circumstances: it is an educational/ cultural trip, holidays are cheaper in term time, big birthday, we have had a rough year and the family needs a break, rebooking due to Covid or any other reason without the original booking being evidenced and the date move being out of your control. If there is no reason why the same holiday could not have occurred during school holidays, it is not exceptional.
I know this may sound harsh to some, but attendance matters, especially following a period of school closures. This is in-line with national and Local Authority expectations and is consistent with the expectations of our local high schools.
The school has always had good attendance for the vast majority of pupils with an average historical attendance of above 96% and many pupils attaining 100% attendance over the year. 96% indicates that on average children have no more than 7 days off school in the year, usually solely as a result of genuine reasons, such as illness, hospital appointments etc. In these instances, we are able to authorise their absence. However, for those who have attendance below 90% - more than 19 days off- they are classed as persistently absent and are recognised by the school as a ‘vulnerable’ child and inevitably they will be affected academically. There is a very strong correlation between those persistently absent and weaker academic performance.