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What if my child is absent from school?
It is very important that all children attend school regularly but if your child is unwell he/she should not be sent to school.
You are expected to inform the school of an absence as soon as possible so that an authorised absence can be recorded. It is important that you telephone the school office on the first day of absence before 9am. If you fail to contact school you will receive a text message which you are expected to respond to.
Children returning to school after an absence should bring in a note explaining the absence. All it needs to include is the name of the child, their class, the dates they were absent and the reason. The school will often attempt to contact parents concerning a child’s absence if a reason has not been given to the office.
A reason given verbally by the child is NOT acceptable.
Authorised absences are acceptable reasons for absence and cover things like sickness, hospital appointments, religious holidays, attendance at court, clinic appointments etc.
Unauthorised absences are absences where no acceptable reason is given and includes things like shopping, going to the airport, a relative visiting, being off school for their birthday, buying shoes, going for a haircut, parent unwell, trips out etc. All dental appointments must be made during the school holidays. Please try to make doctors appointments before or after school, and please bring proof of the appointment.
Under no circumstances may children go out of school by themselves during school hours. Parents who collect children to go to the doctor, dentist etc, must first seek permission from the School Welfare Officer/Headteacher with proof of the appointment. An appropriate time will be arranged for your to collect the child.
Both the school and the Local Authority Education Welfare Officer on behalf of the Government monitor the attendance of each child. The Education Welfare Officer visits the school each week and she contacts families where children are absent and the school has not been given a reason or where there is a pattern of absenteeism from school. Targets will be set to be met by the parent(s)/guardians of the child. If targets are not met, parents may be fined and/or prosecuted via the courts.
What if my child is late for school?
It is very important that all children are in school on time. A child will be recorded as being late if they arrive in their classroom after 9.10am (or in the afternoon after 1.10pm). If a child arrives after their cloakroom doors are shut they must be brought by the parent/carer to Haven entrance (to the right of the main school office entrance via the staff car park) where the will be signed into school and given a LATE mark. They will then be given a ‘late pass’ to take to class with them so that their class teacher knows that they have been signed in as being late by their parent/carer. The ‘late mark’ as with all attendance is available for the Education Welfare Officer to see, who will make home visits to follow up children who are regularly late.
It is equally as important that children should be picked up from school promptly. If for any reason you find that you are going to be late, please contact the school so that we know what is happening. It can be very distressing for the child if we do not know anything. All children will wait in their cloakrooms until 3.30 to be collected. At 3.30 ‘uncollected’ children will be brought round to the front entrance hall by phase staff. If we have been unable to contact you and we have heard nothing by 4.45pm, we are obliged to contact social services who will have to assume that your child has ‘been abandoned’ and will act accordingly.
Parents are reminded that all children should be brought to, and met from school at all times by a responsible adult (aged 18 or over). Children should not be picked up by older brothers and sisters who are still at primary school. If an adult who is unknown to school is sent to collect a child, the child will not be allowed to leave with them unless they have been recorded as an authorised person on your child's school record. You can update/amend this at anytime to add or remove authorised adults. Children must be collected from their cloakroom doors, unless a prior alternative arrangement to collect from the school office has been made.
What happens if we have to go away in term time?
The Department for Education states that parents/carers do not have a right to take their children out of school during term time.
The law requires that once a child is on the school’s register, they should be sent to school every day that it is open. There is no right to time off for holidays and we will only agree to a holiday in exceptional circumstances.
Parents do not have the right to take your child out of school during term time. By law you must ask permission for your child to miss school. Permission will only be granted in very exceptional circumstances. If you fail to gain the headteachers’ permission you risk receiving a £120 penalty notice.
All schools in the JESS cluster of Leeds have to follow the Education Regulations 2006 on exceptional absence during term time. Good attendance leads to improved outcomes for your child.