Ilfracombe Church of England (VC) Junior School

Attendance & Holidays


Notice for Parents and Carers 

Our school’s performance is judged by how well the children attend school on a regular basis. It has been shown that regular or extended absence at important times, such as the beginning of the school year or near exams, or regular lateness in the mornings can have a negative impact on how well children do at school. Research suggests that children may never catch up on the learning that they miss through absence. 
 
We have an overall school target of 97% which means that children can only be absent for 5½ days during the whole school year. The national average for children to attend school is 95.2%. If any children drop below this figure we have to give reasons why to the Education Welfare Department and say what we are doing to improve it. Children’s punctuality is also monitored and late arrivals can be recorded as unauthorised absences. 

 

To try to achieve this target, it has been necessary to make a few amendments to the way in which we deal with absences as follows:

  • We will not be authorising any absence from school during the first 3 weeks of the Autumn term
  • We will not be authorising any absence from school during SATs week
  • We will not be authorising any absence for children whose attendance has fallen below 96%
  • We will write to parents to let them know if their child’s attendance has dropped below 95% even where the absences are explained

 

There is a national fine of £50 per child per parent for those children whose attendance continues to be low. Up until now we have not enforced this fine and with your cooperation we will not have to. I am sure you value the opportunity your child has for learning in our school and can appreciate all the possibilities this will give them in their life. Please continue to support them in ensuring outstanding attendance.

 

Avoidable Absence in Term-Time

Important: Please read carefully the information below.

Warning: If you take your child on holiday in term time without the prior approval of the school, you may be liable for a Penalty Notice per parent per child.

As a parent or carer, you can demonstrate your commitment to your child’s education by, whenever possible, taking your holidays during school holidays.

 

The Facts

We recognise that it is often expensive to take a holiday during school breaks and that is why some parents may ask for term-time leave for their child. However, it is important that parents carefully consider the implications of taking their child out of school during term time.

Research suggests that children who are taken out of school may never catch up on the learning they have missed. This may affect test results and can be particularly harmful if the child is studying for final year examinations.

Children who struggle with English or Mathematics may also find it even harder to cope when they return to school, while younger children may find it difficult to renew friendships with their classmates.

What you should consider

There are times during a school year when a child may experience particular problems because of term-time leave such as:-

  • Closeness to exams or tests.

  • During the first year at a new school.

  • At the beginning of a new school term.

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If the school refuses a request for term-time leave and the child is still taken out of school, this will be recorded as unauthorised absence and you may receive a £60 fine per parent for each child.

 

The Law

The law does not say that parents have an automatic right to take their child out of school for holidays during term-time.

However, in exceptional circumstances school may authorise, in advance, requests for periods of leave. The request for leave must come from a parent with whom the child normally resides.

If a child then stays away from school for more than the authorised period this must be recorded as unauthorised absence and could be quoted in a prosecution for poor attendance.

If the child is away from school for a total of four weeks or more, the school may have the option to take the child off roll subject to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006.

In the case of unexpected extended absence, it is advisable that the parent fully informs the school as to the reasons. If a child is removed from roll, there is no guarantee that the child will regain a place at the school.

 

Absence Types

Other absence from school will be authorised if it is for the following reasons:

  • Genuine illness

  • Unavoidable medical/dental appointments (but try to make these after school if at all possible)

  • Days of religious observance

  • Exceptional circumstances, such as bereavement

  • Seeing a parent who is on leave from the armed forces

  • External examinations

  • When Traveller children go on the road with their parents

 

Other examples of absence from school that will NOT be authorised:

  • Any type of shopping

  • Looking after siblings or unwell parents

  • Minding the house

  • Birthdays

  • Resting after a late night

  • Relatives visiting or visiting relatives

 

Notes

Please contact your child’s head teacher if you wish to discuss this issue.

The law requires parents to ensure their children receive an efficient full time education, and every minute of every day is important. Please help them not to miss any of this valuable time.

We hope that when you have read this leaflet you will consider that your child’s education is too important to take holidays during term time.

 

Penalty Notice

The Penalty Notice is £50 if paid within 21 days, increasing to £120 if paid after 21 days and before 28 days.

 

Other Relevant Resources

Absence Request Form - Link to Babcock

Please see our Absence and Attendance Policy in the Policies & Documents section.