Leave of absence in school term time
Nottingham City Council changed the procedure regarding leave of absence penalty notices after the Isle of Wight High Court case. However following the Supreme Court Judgment on the 6th April 2017, this letter is to inform you that we in partnership with the Local Authority reinstated them in September 2017.
It is a rule of this school that a leave of absence shall not be granted in term time unless there are exceptional reasons, irrespective of the child’s overall attendance. Only the Head Teacher or his/her designate (not the Local Authority) may authorise such a request and all applications for a leave of absence must be made in writing/on a form provided by the school.
Where a parent takes a leave of absence to which the application was refused or takes a leave of absence where no application was made, School will request a penalty notice to be issued by the Local Authority. The penalty notice will be issued to each parent of the individual child.
Southwold Primary School tracks the attendance of each child closely, including punctuality.
The government guideline for pupil attendance is 95%. If a child’s attendance falls below 80%, the Local Authority will ask Education Welfare to get involved and it will become a legal issue
• If a child’s attendance falls below 80%, the Education Welfare Officer will ask parents/carers to attend a meeting at school to discuss reasons for
absences and to offer any support to improve attendance
• A 4 week review period will follow to make sure attendance does not fall any further
• If the child’s attendance declines, parents/carers will be called to a Panel Meeting and this would mark the start of the legal process, leading to a possible court appearance and fine.
It is important to understand that holidays cannot now be authorised (since September 2013) due to a change in legislation by the Govenment.
Our recent visit from Her Majesty’s Inspector resulted in a target stating school must:
‘improve punctuality and reduce the amount of times where pupils are
taken out of school before the end of the day’.
Southwold Primary School starts at 8:45am (incuding the Early Years’ Centre).
The children should make their way promptly to their class lines at 8:40 when the whistle is blown and teachers count the number of children in each class line. The class with the highest punctuality by Thursday will be rewarded with a non-uniform day on the following Friday.
To increase punctuality further, the school follows a ‘Late Gate’ procedure on selected days. If a child is late and needs to enter school through the main entrance, they will be handed a ‘Late Slip’. If a child receives three Late Slips in one term, their parent(s) are asked to attend a meeting in school to explain why the child is being late.
Medical appointments should be, where possible, made out of school time. Southwold Primary and Early Years’ Centre appreciates that this is not always possible and authorisation of the missed session(s) will be at the school’s discretion.
We will be closely monitoring children being taken out of school before the end of the day.
In order to tighten up on overall attendance we ask if your child is ill, a parent or carer phones school on the morning of absence or sends a letter into school on their return, explaining the reason for absence. If we do not receive a reason, we will have to follow this up.