We aim for pupils at Alfreton Park Community Special School to achieve their full potential both academically and personally.
We aim to work with parents/carers to ensure the children’s attendance is as near to 100% as possible.
The Role of Parents and Carers
Parents have a legal duty under the Education Act 1996 to make sure that children of compulsory school age attend the school they are registered at on a regular, full-time basis.
Allowing children of compulsory school age to be absent from school without good reason is an offence. Persistent absence may result in the matter being reported to the Derbyshire Education Social Work Department.
Any problems over attendance should be discussed with the school at an early stage. It is every parent’s/carer’s responsibility to ensure that their child attends school, arrives on time, is properly equipped, suitably dressed and has a positive attitude to learn.
It is also the parent’s responsibility to inform the school if their child is going to be absent and to provide an explanation for the absence.
The role of the School
The school has a responsibility to monitor every pupil’s attendance and to report any half-day absences as either Authorised or Unauthorised.
FAMILY HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ABSENCES
Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, which came into force on 1st September 2013 state that Head teachers may not grant any leave of absence for holidays during the term time unless there are exceptional circumstances; in these cases it is the Head teacher who determines the number of days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.
The Governors have agreed the following ‘exceptional circumstances’ which may be authorised by the Head teacher:
Types of holidays that MAY be granted due to exceptional circumstances:
One or both parents in the armed forces and leave granted prior to deployment.
‘Factory fortnight’ holidays – immovable holidays due to business rotas etc (such requests should be accompanied by a letter from the employer)
Terminally ill close relative i.e. parent, sibling, grandparent. Family wish to have a final holiday together.
Family/carer funeral (1 day maximum)
Weddings (immediate family only, 1 day maximum)
Visits to the child’s/children’s or parents’ country of origin
Pupils with certain conditions may find holiday destinations impossible to manage during busy times and this may cause the families undue anxiety having a detrimental effect on their health and well-being.
Leave of absence will NOT be granted for reasons that are NOT considered to be special or exceptional. These include:
Availability of cheap holidays and cheap travel arrangements
Days overlapping with beginning or end of term
Family weddings longer than one day
Visiting relatives living in different parts of the country or overseas
Holiday’s won in competitions
Parents needing leave of absence for exceptional circumstances should complete a form available from the school office at least two weeks before the anticipated start date. The reason for the request should be given in detail and be accompanied by a letter from the employer stating that holidays are only allowed during this period. Applications should be made before the leave is arranged as absences will not be granted retrospectively.
The Headteacher may ask parents to provide more detail about the exceptional circumstances to aid their decision making.
Parents who take their children on holiday without permission will incur an unauthorised absence for their child. These remain on the child’s record and will be monitored for further action by the Education Welfare Service.
The local authority will issue a fixed penalty notice from January 2014. The penalty is £60 if paid within 28 days of receipt rising to £120 if paid after 28 days but within 42 days. The payment must be paid direct to the local authority. The parents can only be prosecuted if 42 days have expired and full payment has not been made. Penalty notices can be issued to each parent liable for the attendance offence or offences.
There is no right of appeal by parents against a penalty notice. If the penalty is not paid in full by the end of the 42 day period the local authority must decide either to prosecute for the original offence to which the notice applies or withdraw the notice.
Authorised absences are identified as:
Approved PE/sporting activity
Days of religious observance in the religious body to which the parents belong.
Absence for theatrical/other performances following discussion with the Head teacher.
School educational visit
Educated off site
Special Family Circumstances i.e. bereavement or sickness of another close family member.
Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider ‘reasonable’ and for which no ‘leave of absence’ has been granted. This includes:
Parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily i.e. to go shopping, birthday, day trips
Truancy before or during the school day
Absences which are not properly explained
Holidays during term-time for which no leave of absence has been granted
The school is responsible for referring problems over attendance/punctuality to the School’s Education Welfare Officer in cases where difficulties cannot be resolved.
The school will apply the following procedures to manage attendance and punctuality.
Registration will take place at the start of each morning and afternoon session.
Registers will be checked at the end of each session to identify absentees. Text messages will be sent to ascertain the reason for absence.
Attendance records will be stored on the school’s Information Data Base.
Parents/carers should inform the school on the first day of absence either by letter or telephone. E-mails are not accepted as the originator of the message cannot be verified.
Office staff will inform the class teacher of any known absence.
Where no explanation is available from home on the first day of an absence, the school will attempt to contact parent/carers on the contact numbers supplied by them. This will be done as soon after the start of the school day as is possible.
Pupils’ attendance figures, including Unauthorised Absence, will be recorded on their annual report.
The school will send details on attendance, both authorised and unauthorised to the Department for Education and Skills as required by current regulations.
If a pupil arrives at school after the registration period, they will be regarded as ‘late’ and this will be registered by the School Administrator.
The head teacher reviews the attendance half termly and monitors any child whose attendance is less than 90%. Parents will be informed by letter if this occurs. This may result in a referral being made to the School’s Education Welfare Officer if attendance is 85% or below.
Regular Late Arrival
Every effort should be made to ensure that pupils arrive on time for school. Parents of pupils who are transported to school should ensure that their child is ready by the time agreed with the transport staff.