PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY ON REPORTING ABSENCE
A child not attending school is considered a safeguarding matter. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required. If your child is absent you must:
- Contact us as soon as possible on the first day of absence
- Parents need to bring to the school evidence of dates of medical appointments, e.g. copy of medical letter and complete a leave of absence form
- Medical evidence may be required if your child has above average illness this could be a copy of a prescription, labelled medication or an appointment card.
IF YOUR CHILD IS ABSENT WE WILL:
- Telephone or text you on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you, this is because we have a duty to ensure your child’s safety as well as their regular school attendance.
- We may refer the matter to the Leeds City Council School Attendance Service if absence falls below 90% (Appendix two: school based interventions)
- If we believe that your child is absent due to a holiday you may be issued with a penalty notice £60 per parent per child.
AUTHORISED ABSENCE IS DEFINED AS:
- Genuine illness
- Medical or dental appointment (routine appointments should be arranged out of school time)
- Bereavement – (Headteacher’s discretion)
- Religious observance (no more than 2 days per academic year)
- Approved leave in term time where there are exceptional circumstances, as agreed by the Headteacher.
UNAUTHORISED ABSENCE IS DEFINED AS:
- Holidays in term time (following the Department for Education’s Guidelines)
- Absence in term time where permission has not been given by the school in accordance with the A.R.M Cluster Attendance Policy. This means that parents/ carers do not have the right to take their child out of school during term time.
- Late, after the registers have closed (a ‘U’ code will be used)
- Any absence that the school has not been informed of by letter or by telephone;
- Unexplained absence. Any child whose absence is on-going and remains unexplained for an extended period (10 days) will be referred to the local authority as a child missing education (CME)
- Taking the rest of the day off before or after a medical appointment.
- Staying at home to care for younger children or sick relatives;
- Going shopping or having a haircut;
- Birthdays, Weddings or Anniversaries;
- Transport issues e.g. car broken down;
- Travelling to airport to meet relatives/friends;
- Visiting sick relatives
% ATTENDANCE EXPRESSED IN NUMBER OF DAYS ABSENT
Attendance/absence is presented as a percentage figure, but it’s helpful to equate this to number of days off:
98% = fewer than four days absent in a school year
95% = fewer than ten days absent in one school year
90% = 4 weeks absent in one school year (equates to a ½ day each week)
85% = 5.5 weeks absent in one school year (approaching a whole half-term in the school year)
80% = 7.5 weeks absent in one school year (equates to one day each week or a whole half-term)
Over 5 years children with an average attendance of 85-90% will have missed half a school year of education while children with an average attendance of 80% will have missed a whole school year.