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Guidance for Absence and Lateness

Dear Parent/Carer

Firstly, may we thank parents who regularly ensure that their children attend school at all times. There is a strong correlation between high attendance and high achievement which is why home and school should be working together to ensure that children have the best possible start in life.

All schools aim to achieve a goal of 100% attendance though we recognise that, due to some exception circumstances, this is not always possible.

 Headteachers are not able to authorise holidays.

  • The ‘persistent absence’ threshold is where a child misses 10% or more of schooling, (equivalent to nearly three weeks or more schooling across the year).

A Penalty Notice will be issued for any unauthorised absence where the pupil has been:

 Absent for 10 or more half-day sessions (five school days) of unauthorised absence during any 100 possible school sessions – these do not need to be consecutive

  • Persistently late for up to 10 sessions (five days) after the register has closed
  • Persistently late before the close of the register, but the school has met with the Parent and has clearly communicated that they will categorise as unauthorised any further lateness if, and when, the threshold of 10 sessions (five days) has been met
  • Absent for any public examinations, formal school assessments, tests or examinations of which dates are published in advance- this includes the phonics screening.

Penalty notices will be issued if a child’s attendance crosses any of the above thresholds.

If a fine is raised, then each responsible parent will be fined £60 per child, per week of absenceFailure to pay within a set period of time will incur further penalties.

Headteachers have the authority to grant leave of absence only in exceptional cases.

They are not able to authorise holidays during term time. Parents should be aware that children already have thirteen weeks of holiday throughout the year.

The Hampshire Code of Conduct states that if a Penalty Notice has previously been issued and this has been ineffective in addressing the absenteeism, the case must be referred to the Attendance Legal Panel (ALP) who will then decide whether to issue a subsequent Penalty Notice or recommend alternative intervention, which may include parental prosecution.

Research shows that absence from school, for whatever reason, can disadvantage a child by creating gaps in learning, which affect a child’s ability to succeed. As such, we monitor all absence thoroughly and all attendance data is shared with the Local Authority. We will contact you if we have any concerns regarding your child’s attendance, particularly if it drops below 95%. All Schools within our Cluster are committed to working together to support the improvement of children’s attendance and punctuality to school. Please support us by giving your child the best opportunities through ensuring their good attendance at school.

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Willes