With effect from September 2015 schools have been advised by the government’s Department for Education (DfE) that the Persistent Absence (PA) threshold will be reduced to 10%. This means that if a child/young person has an overall attendance of 90% or less over a given period, they will be classified as a persistent absentee pupil. Parents will be advised by school if attendance is a concern, either by a letter or will be requested to attend a meeting in school. If attendance fails to improve during a monitoring period, the case may be referred to the Local Authority for a Penalty Notice fine to be issued to parents/carers. As a result of these changes, we will be monitoring absence rigorously and will take a proactive approach. We will be requiring medical evidence at an early stage if absence persists.
Term Time Holidays
From September 2013, legislation concerning term-time holidays changed. Previously, schools were allowed to grant leave for family holidays of up to 10 days per year, and of over 10 days in ‘exceptional circumstances,’ at the head teacher’s discretion. Now, however, head teachers cannot grant any authorised absence during term-time, unless in very exceptional circumstances. Essentially, term-time holidays will no longer be authorised. If your request for leave is unauthorised and you make the decision to take your child out of school for a holiday or other reason, you may be fined £60 per adult per child if the penalty notice is paid within 21 days, if paid between 21 and 28 days the payment increases to £120 per adult per child. If the penalty notice is not paid, court proceedings will be initiated.
The school strongly urges parents therefore not to book family holidays during term-time. Absence during term time as a result of term time holiday interrupts continuity of teaching and learning, disrupts educational progress of individual children and creates disruption in school. In accordance with government guidelines, any time taken off during term time will be unauthorised and parents/carers liable to a Penalty Notice unless exceptional circumstances apply.
We have a number of children who are persistently late for school. May we remind parents/carers that children should be in the playground and ready to go into class from 8.45am, with registers being taken from 8.50am. Consistently late pupils miss over an hour of school per week, leading to over a week’s worth of school in a term. This is detrimental to your child’s education and that of the children in their class, it also gives poor preparation for future schooling and adult life.