A Parent/Carer Guide to Attendance
"Missing school for just a few days a year can damage pupils’ chances of gaining good GCSEs, according to a report published by the Department for Education in 2016."
Research shows that overall absence has a negative link to attainment, with every extra day missed associated with a lower chance of achieving good GCSEs or equivalent:
- If, for any reason, your child is unable to attend school, you must contact the school office on every day of absence and give a reason for the absence. You should inform the school before 9.30am by telephone to the 24 hours absence line (01376 559356), 24 hours text service (07598 393348) or absences email – JJackson@alechunter.com.
- Once you have contacted the school, we will decide whether we need more information (such as medical evidence for a child who has attendance of 90% or below) or whether we will deem the absence as ‘authorised’ or ‘unauthorised’.
- We expect that, where possible, medical/dental appointments should be taken out of school hours to minimise the work that your child will miss.
- There is no longer any entitlement in law for students to take time off during term time to go on holiday and authorisation will only be given for exceptional circumstances. Leave of absence must be granted at least two weeks in advance by the school via the “Application for Leave of Absence from school during Term Time” form for each student. No leave of absence will be granted to a student during, or immediately before, any examination period regardless of the student’s attendance record or year group. Any Leave of Absence taken without completing the appropriate application in advance, or taken when permission has been refused by the school, will be recorded as an unauthorised absence and may result in the school applying to the Local Authority (Attendance Compliance) to issue a Penalty Notice or if you have previously been issued a Penalty Notice, the school may request a direct prosecution by the Local Authority (Attendance Compliance).
- If your child has attendance at 90% or below, this means that they have fallen into what is called the Persistent Absentee (PA) Category, a criterion set by the Government. If this is the case, you will be contacted to discuss how your child’s attendance can be improved. We will also contact you if we have identified other concerns about your child’s attendance.
- If difficulties cannot be worked out in this way and attendance continues to drop due to unauthorised absences, the school may issue an Attendance Information letter, followed by a Penalty Notice/Legal Action Warning Letter and refer the student to the Local Authority (Attendance Compliance). The Local Authority may issue each parent with a Penalty Notice for £120, reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days or referring the matter to the Magistrates Court whereby each parent may receive a fine of up to £2500 and/or up to 3 months in prison. If you are found guilty in court, you will receive a criminal conviction.
Please click document below to print out our Application for leave of Absence During Term Time form. Once completed please hand in to the School Office.