Old Park School believes that there is a direct link between a child's level of attendance at school and their progress. In developing our approach the school aims to ensure that all pupils have access to a full curriculum and, taking account of any medical needs, spend as much time as possible in school.
The government expects schools and local authorities to:
• Promote good attendance and reduce absence, including persistent absence;
• Ensure every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled; and,
• Act early to address patterns of absence.
In order to promote continuity of learning for all pupils Old Park School takes seriously its responsibility of monitoring attendance and addressing any issues preventing regular attendance.
Further information and guidance can be found in our Attendance Policy.
From 1st September 2013 amendments to the 2006 regulations remove references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The Headteacher will not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The Headteacher will decide what determines an exceptional circumstance - however, guidance states that, in no circumstances will financial factors be considered to be exceptional.
Examples of Exceptional Circumstances include:
- The complexity and challenge of a pupil's special educational needs means that holidays can only be taken outside of the high season;
- Close family bereavement.
- Close family weddings taking place mid-week or a significant distance from the home;
- Limitations imposed by charity grants and/or Social Services involvement such as where a holiday package is funded by a charity but dates are pre-fixed as part of the package.
In all cases, leave needs to be requested using the 'Leave/Holiday Request Form' from the school office. Parents/carers can request a form be sent home via the pupils Home/School Book. The Head (or Deputy on her behalf) will make a decision on the leave request and return the form within one working week.
When decisions are being made regarding authorisation of extended leave, the school will consider the nature of the request, whether there are already concerns regarding the young person's attendance or concerns about their learning and progress. Where holidays or leave are taken without permission form the school, because a request has been made or has been denied, these will be recorded on the young person's attendance record as 'unauthorised absence'. If a parent/carer is granted leave and the young person does not return on the specified return date, subsequent absences will be marked as a unauthorised. In these cases the school may refer to the Education Welfare Service and a Penalty Notice may be issued.
J.Colbourne (Head Teacher) September 2020