Absence from School for Exceptional Circumstances

Reducing absence from school is a key priority nationally and locally, as missing school may damage a child's attainment levels and life opportunities. Department for Education research shows that as primary school level, where pupils miss up to 2 weeks of school in key stage two, they are 25% less likely to achieve the expected standard or above in reading, writing or maths tests than those with no absence.

The government states that every pupil's attendance should be at least 95% and have removed Head Teacher's authority to grant leave for the purpose of a term time holiday. Holiday absence from school is recorded as unauthorised. Unauthorised absence where a pupil has accrued 10 or more sessions (two sessions per school day) in a 13 week period may lead to a penalty notice being issued. If it is thought that a parent/carer has taken their child on a term time holiday and failed to follow the 'absence from school for exceptional circumstances' procedure or provide sufficient evidence or reason for the absence, the parent/carer may still receive a penalty notice.

A 'parent' is defined as "... any person who, although not a natural parent, has care of a child or young person. Having care of a child or young person means that a person with whom the child lives and who looks after the child, irrespective of what their relationship is with the child, is considered to be a parent in education law". Section 576 of the Education Act 1996.

Please consider, a child with 95% attendance (two weeks absence) is missing 50 classes in an academic year.

We monitor attendance on a weekly basis and any child whose attendance falls below 93% will be sent a letter warning parents of the child's attendance record. If there is no improvement of the child's attendance a referral to the Educational Welfare Service will be made and this could lead to fines.

For further information regarding Penalty Notices click on the link below.

Education Welfare Service Penalty Notice Information.