Firstly, we would like to thank all parents and carers who work hard in partnership with us to ensure that their children attend school regularly and punctually. We would like to thank our parents/carers in particular for responding so effectively to the changes in law related to leave of absence from school being for exceptional circumstances only.
Similarly to the world of work, pupils should only be absent or late to school when they are ill or for medical or dental appointments (where these cannot be scheduled outside school hours). Any other absence needs to be requested and in all cases the decision is the headteacher’s. In law, parents/carers are committing an offence if they fail to ensure the regular and punctual attendance of their child at the school. If your child is absent and the school have not authorised this then this is subject to legal action through a fine or prosecution.
In response to the changes in school attendance law Hampshire County Council has reviewed its ‘Code of Conduct’. This code sets out for all schools what actions must be taken for any child with 10 or more sessions (5 days) of unauthorised absence from September 2015. We are clear in our code of conduct that where a child or family requires support to achieve attendance rates above 90% that this is the first priority for schools. We are also clear that where parent/carers choose to ignore the law and are complicit in their child’s absence then all schools with the Local Authority must take legal action through a penalty notice fine or prosecution in court.
From September 2015 all schools will be required to work with Hampshire County Council to take legal action if
- A child has unauthorised absence for 10 or more sessions.
- A child is continually late to school and this lateness is unauthorised for 10 or more sessions.
- A child has any unauthorised absence during any formal examinations, assessment or testing.
Please note each parent/carer can be issued a separate penalty notice for each child.
Please see below links to the school attendance policy together with Hampshire County Council documentation relating to school attendance.
Leave of Absence
When requesting leave of absence for exceptional circumstances you are asked to complete the following form.
Please note parents have a legal duty to ensure their child’s regular attendance at school. Headteachers may authorise leave of absence if it is proved under the criteria ‘exceptional circumstance’. Exceptional circumstances are at the discretion of Headteachers who must satisfy themselves that the circumstances warrant granting of leave.
The application should be made well in advance and parents are strongly advised to apply for leave of absence before they confirm their holiday arrangements. Holidays during term time are not classed as exceptional circumstances.