For your children to be successful in school, it is crucial they are here every day as children only spend around 14% of the total year learning in school!
Using this criteria, you will notice that, in order for your child to qualify for satisfactory attendance, they must be in school at least 19 days out of every 20 school days (or no more than 1 day absent every 4 weeks).
90% may sound like a high number, but regarding attendance it is exceptionally low. 90% equates to 1 full day off school every fortnight, or 1 half-day every week. In a primary school context, this could mean all a child's PE or Science lessons throughout the year.
As our families are aware, one of the reasons we plan a number of our Inset training days to take place at the beginning of each academic year (in September) is to give our parents the opportunity to arrange a holiday when the prices are less expensive.
We also have our 'Enrichment Week' every summer, where families can take their child out of school on holiday, without a penalty notice being issued.
If the reason for withdrawing your child from learning in school is to go on holiday because of the rise in price during school holidays, we strongly suggest that you use this time in September or in Enrichment Week to arrange a less expensive holiday than during school time.
There is no automatic entitlement in law, to time off in school time to go on holiday. Amendments to the Education Regulations 2006 came into force in September 2013 and make it clear that headteachers may NOT grant leave of absence unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Exceptional circumstances DO NOT include:
Withdrawal from learning (term-time holiday) that has not been approved will therefore be unauthorised and may lead to a referral being made to the local authority for action.
Leave of absence requests will be considered within the school academic year in which they will fall. The academic year runs from September to July.
In accordance with government guidelines, in order to secure your child’s leave of absence, please contact the school to discuss a term-time holiday before it is booked and all applications must be made at least 14 days in advance by completing a withdrawal from learning request form.
A leave of absence is granted entirely at the Head Teacher’s 'discretion', this cannot be granted if the reason for absence is listed in the bullet points above. If leave is granted, the headteacher will determine the number of school days for which leave is granted.
A child's leave of absence cannot be granted retrospectively. This means that, if you put in a request after the holiday has started, then your child's absence from school cannot be authorised under any circumstances.
Any period of leave taken without the agreement of the school, or in excess of the agreed, will be classed as unauthorised and may attract sanctions such as Penalty Notices.
Penalty notices will be issued if a child has more than 3 days unauthorised absence during school term time. Penalty notices can also be issued by the local authority if a child is late to school on 10 occasions during a 6 week period.
You can find all the up to date information on pupil attendance in the ‘Nottinghamshire local code of conduct for penalty notices issued in respect of truancy and excluded pupils’.
They may also be issued where parents allow their child to be present in a public place during school hours without justification during the first five days of a fixed period or permanent exclusion.
Nottinghamshire County Council has set out the criteria that will be used to trigger the use of a penalty notice. This includes unauthorised absences, irregular attendance, holidays taken during term time without the school’s permission and where an excluded child is found in a public place during school hours without a justifiable reason.
All information will be passed to the local authority who will make the decision as to whether to issue a penalty notice or not.
The penalty is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt, rising to £120 (per parent per child) if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. The payment must be made directly to the local authority. The parents can only be prosecuted if 28 days have expired and full payment has not been made.
There is no right of appeal by parents against a penalty notice. If the penalty is not paid in full by the end of the 28 day period, the local authority must decide either to prosecute for the original offence to which the notice applies, or withdraw the notice.