If your child is going to be absent, please telephone the school as soon as possible, on the first day of absence. Please don’t hesitate to use the answer phone service to leave messages if you call earlier than 8.30am. If we have not had an explanation as to why your child is absent, we shall telephone to ensure that your child is safe and in your care. As you can imagine, this can take up a great deal of time and we would greatly appreciate you letting us know if your child will be away in order to save us time and worry.
Absence, even for part of one day, should always be explained in writing to the child’s teacher, upon the child’s return to school. We are obliged to keep accurate records of lateness and absence so that the Educational Welfare Service can act in cases where there is concern.
Absence due to Illness
For advice on whether your child needs to stay off school due to illness, please refer to the NHS website.
If your child is ill then clearly the best place for them is at home. Some conditions such as asthma and diabetes, for example, simply need medication. We can arrange for this to be administered in school if necessary. Please discuss these arrangements with your child’s class teacher.
Generally, however, no medication or tablets are allowed to be administered at school. The giving of medicine in school is purely a voluntary service and regrettably, due to the increasing demands to administer medicine and the difficulties this can cause staff, the following now applies:-
- Parents of children who need long-term medication e.g. asthma inhalers, must complete a medical form, available at the school office.
- Medicine might have been prescribed by your doctor and there may still be doses left to take by the time your child is well enough to return. It is important to remember that staff are not required by law to administer medicines for health and safety reasons and hence the policy is that “medicines should only be taken to a setting when this is essential and settings should only accept medicines that have been prescribed by a doctor, dentist, nurse or pharmacist”. “Essential” and “prescribed” are the key words here. Those medicines that are taken three times a day can be taken before and directly after school, therefore it is not essential that the medicine be taken in school. If a medicine needs to be taken more than three times a day, or at a specific time during the school day, you will be asked to come in to administer it.
- Some of our children suffer from allergies or medical conditions. Please contact us as soon as you become aware of any such condition with your child in order that we can support you in ensuring your child’s health and safety at school. We operate a strict “NO PEANUTS IN SCHOOL” policy, due to the life-threatening nature of peanut allergies.
Leave of Absence in Term Time
A great deal of school time is lost regularly in our school through term time holidays. Achieving 90% in a test might seem like an excellent mark. However, 90% attendance equates to a morning per week off school. This level of absence has a huge impact on learning. We aim for our pupils to achieve at the very least, a 96% attendance rate. The consequence of 10 days additional leave from Reception to Year 4 equates to 50 days of lost schooling which is approximately half a term!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.
Achieving 90% in a test might seem like an excellent mark. However, 90% attendance equates to a morning per week off school. This level of absence has a huge impact on learning. We aim for our pupils to achieve at the very least, a 96% attendance rate.
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.
It is impossible to provide an exhaustive list of what “exceptional” may be and the school tries to be sympathetic to the particular family circumstances when a request is made. However, 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.
REQUEST A LEAVE OF ABSENCE FORM
In order to receive a ‘Leave of Absence’ form, please contact the school office.
Please note that it takes time to prepare the form. We will endeavor to get the form to you as soon as possible.
Please also refer to our ‘Attendance Of Pupils Policy‘.
We thank you for your understanding in this matter and hope that you will appreciate that this approach to leave of absence during term time is no longer a matter for our own discretion but an amendment to the law.