The DfE offers the following definition of authorised absence:
“Section 39 of the Education Act 1944 protects parents from prosecution where a child is absent on any day:
a When prevented from attending by sickness or any unavoidable cause,
b Exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which his parents belong.”
Should your child be necessarily absent from school due to illness, please telephone us by 9.15am on the first day of absence and confirm this by letter on your child’s first day back at school. In cases where parents have been unable to do so, we endeavour to contact parents ourselves. In this way we can all have the greatest possible confidence that children are either safely at school or safely with their parents.
The Department for Education requires us to record all absences; and those not covered by letter are listed as unauthorised, i.e. truancy.
If we do not received a phone call alerting us to an absence, it is our policy as part of our work to ensure the safety of children, to contact parents by phone to make sure that the child is safe at home.
It is expected that all local medical appointments will be made outside of school hours. However, should this not be possible, a request for medical absence should be made to the Office with accompanying evidence of appointment.
Planned or emergency absence (e.g. for holiday or family funeral) must be requested on the official form available from the Office.
It is also expected that parents will take their annual holiday outside of term time. Where this is impossible, the Headteacher may grant a child up to two weeks leave of absence which must be taken in week blocks and not ‘odd days’. This is not an entitlement and the decision to grant absence will be made considering past attendance and academic progress. Normally, leave of absence will not be granted to any child during September (when all of the children are settling in with new teachers) or during the first half of the Summer Term (when all children are undertaking tests).
Holiday absence beyond 10 days will, other than in exceptional circumstances, be recorded as unauthorised, as will extended weekends (e.g. Friday or Monday absences) and non-essential activities (e.g. a birthday treat).
If children are fit to attend school, it is assumed by staff that they are able to participate in all activities, which will include P.E. (both indoor and outdoor), games, swimming and outside break.