The importance of good attendance and punctuality can not be over-emphasised. Over the last two years Peel Common Junior School is proud to announce that we have seen a significant rise in the number of children achieving 100% attendance.
For the academic year 2015-16 our overall school attendance was 95.43%.
Reporting Student Absence
Please use our dedicated text number to inform us if your child will not be school.
Office Number 01329 281206 Out of office hours this will go to an answerphone; after the beep, please tell us the following information:
•The name of the student who will be absent or late;
•Their year and tutor group; and
•The reason for absence.
Parents should contact the school EVERYDAY that their child is absent from school.
If this is not done then a text will be sent informing parents of their absence. Thank you.
Department for Education and Skills - school attendance information
Holidays during Term Time and Other Leave of Absence
Parents will already be aware of the change to the law relating to family holidays taken in term-time. (see The Department for Education website: http://www.education.gov.uk/popularquestions/a005551/can-i-take-my-child-on-holiday-in-term-time
The law now makes it clear that parents must avoid taking holidays in term time because absence from school can seriously impact on student learning.
Whilst there may be occasions when a student is unable to attend school (e.g. illness), all other absences should therefore be kept to a minimum and if at all possible avoided.
The Headteacher is not able to authorise holidays in term time for any student.
Regulations do, however, permit a Headteacher to agree to a request from a parent for a student to be granted “leave of absence”. Leave of absence may be granted in special or exceptional circumstances only. The regulations make it quite clear, however, that parents do not have the right or an entitlement to take a child out of school for the purposes of a family holiday during term time.
What are “special” and "exceptional” circumstances?
The fact a holiday is cheaper during term time will not be considered as “special” or “exceptional” circumstances. The following are examples of the criteria for leave of absence, which may be considered as “exceptional”:
•Service personnel returning from active deployment
•Where inflexibility of the parents’ leave or working arrangement is part of the organisational or company policy. This would need to be evidenced by the production or confirmation from the organisation/company
•Where leave is recommended as part of a parents’ or child’s rehabilitation from medical or emotional problems. Evidence must be provided.
•When a family needs to spend time together to support each other during or after a crisis
Ultimately, however, it is for the Headteacher to decide if the circumstances are “special” or “exceptional”.
•Each request for leave of absence will be considered by the Headteacher on an individual basis. In deciding whether or not to approve a request, as well as considering the circumstances surrounding the request, the Headteacher is also likely to take into account:the age of the student
•the time of the year proposed for the holiday
•the overall attendance pattern of the student and
•the student’s stage of education and progress.
Fact: Hampshire County Council Children’s Services Department will always support a headteacher’s decision to refuse a request for leave of absence for a family holiday during term time.
How do I apply for leave of absence for my child?
If my request is approved
If the request is approved by the Headteacher, the student’s absence will be recorded as ‘authorised’ for the agreed period of absence. If the student does not return to school following the agreed period of “authorised absence” however, unless the extended period of absence is due to some “unavoidable” cause e.g. illness, the extended period of absence will be recorded as “unauthorised”.
If my request is not approved
If the request is not approved by the Headteacher and the parent proceeds to take the student out of school for a family holiday, all of the absence during this period will be recorded as “unauthorised”. Parents who take a child on leave in term time without the permission of the school risk being issued with a penalty notice fine for unauthorised absences.
What happens if the absence is “unauthorised?
Where a student has irregular attendance and the absences are unauthorised, the parents are committing an offence and could either be issued with a Penalty Notice or prosecuted under the Education Act, 1996.
Fixed Penalty Notices
With the implementation of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act (2003) the Local Authority has statutory powers to use Penalty Notices to help tackle irregular school attendance and unauthorised absences. An unauthorised absence is any absence for which the school has not given permission or for which the parent/carer has been unable to provide a reason that is acceptable to the school.
From September 2015, where a child has unauthorised absence the school is expected to enforce Hampshire’s Code of Conduct for issuing Penalty Notices. The Code of Conduct is a statutory document that ensures that powers for legal sanctions are applied consistently and fairly across all schools and their families within the authority.
Where a student has 10 or more unauthorised absences (5 days) due either to a holiday that has been taken without permission or the refusal of a parent/carer’s request for leave of absence unauthorised absence is for 10 or more sessions (5 days) a penalty notice for non-attendance mayl be issued.
Unless the issuing of a Penalty Notice would conflict with other intervention strategies in place or other sanctions already being processed, Peel common junior School or Hampshire Local Authority may issue a Penalty Notice for any unauthorised absence where the student has been:
- Penalty notices can be issued if a pupil has 40 or more unauthorised sessions within a rolling calendar year (equating to a 90% (or lower) attendance rate for the 12 months period). Authorised absence will not be included in this total.
- The 12 month rolling period is calculated from the last pay of unauthorised absence once the 40 session threshold has been surpassed and may inevitably straddle academic years, particularly at the start of the Autumn term.
All cases will be decided on an individual pupil basis.
For each case of unauthorised absence the school or Hampshire County Council will decide whether a Penalty Notice is issued to one or more parent/carers for each child. This could mean four penalty notices for a family with two siblings both with unauthorised absence for holiday (one penalty notice for each child to each parent).
Each penalty notice carries a fine of £60 if paid within 21 days of the penalty notice being posted. If the fine is not paid within 21 days the Penalty is automatically increased to £120 if paid within 28 days. If the fine remains unpaid the Hampshire County Council will consider prosecution for the non-attendance.
For further information parents/carers can request a leaflet from the school or visit the Hampshire County Council website at: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/education/hias/learning-behaviour-attendance/attendance-guidance-for-parents/possible-penalties.htm