We know that excellent school attendance is essential if children are to take full advantage of the learning opportunities available to them in school. For this reason we take low school attendance and lateness very seriously.
We investigate any individual absences and raise any attendance concerns with parents and carers. Lateness is not only disruptive to the child’s continuity of learning but also to that of others.
It is important to remember that registered pupils of compulsory school age are required by law to be in school. Explanations for all absences are required. Please note that only the school can approve absence, not parents.
Schools are not obliged to accept parental notes where there is reason to doubt the validity of the explanation offered. Where additional intervention and support is required, the school works alongside Education Welfare Officers to engage families and improve outcomes.
The school can authorise the following absences provided it is satisfied of the validity of the explanation given:
- 1. Short illnesses
- 2. Absences related to COVID-19 including isolating due to confirmed close contact/school or government direction/awaiting test results if symptomatic etc. – for further information on how schools record these absences, please refer to this document: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/965878/Recording_non-attendance_related_to_coronavirus.pdf
- 3. Medical or dental appointments
- 4. Family bereavement
- 5. Days of religious observance
- 6. Pupil exclusions
- 7. Special occasions such as dance or music exams can be granted at the discretion of the Headteacher.
- Please note, from September 2013, a new amendment to Education legislation has come into force which means that schools may not grant leave of absence/holidays during term-time unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’.
Consequences of low attendance
The School can no longer take into account previous good attendance but will have to consider a Penalty Notice if holidays are taken in term-time. If parents decide to take their children on holiday during term-time, the school will refer this unauthorised holiday to the Educational Welfare Service and a Penalty Notice may be issued. Please note that such a Penalty is issued by Bristol City Council to each parent for each child taken out of school. A Penalty Notice is a fine of £60 which increases to £120 if not paid within the first 28 days. Thereafter, if the Penalty remains unpaid, this may result in legal action.
For more information, please look at this document: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/documents/20182/239264/School+attendance+penalty+notice+leaflet+updated+2018.pdf/0be9a0bb-2cfb-49e4-9737-019fcb7fc79a