Below is a letter sent to parent/carers by Debbie our Headteacher on 21st October 2014:
School Attendance Policy
The Department for Education expects schools and local authorities to promote good attendance and reduce absences, including persistent absence. This is because we know that missing out on lessons leaves children/young people vulnerable to falling behind. Attendance, overall at Bennerley Fields, is good at 93%. Many of our pupils have very good attendance of 95% or more.
As a school we work hard to support all children/young people and their families so as to ensure that all children/young people have good attendance. I thank you for your support in this. A growing attendance issue however is families taking holidays in term time. I would like to remind you of the regulations.
“Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence for holidays during the term time unless there are exceptional circumstances; in these cases it is the Headteacher who determines the number of days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted. Such leave can only be granted if attendance is already good. A second holiday in one year is unable to be authorised no matter what the circumstances.”
As a consequence of these changes I will no longer be able to approve requests for leave of absence for reasons that are not considered to be special or exceptional such as:
- Availability of cheap holidays and cheap travel arrangements
- Days overlapping with beginning or end of term
Parents needing leave of absence for exceptional circumstances should complete a form at least two weeks before the anticipated start date. The reason for the request should be given in detail. Applications should be made before the leave is arranged as absences will not be granted retrospectively.
I would like to remind parents that this is Government policy and parents who take their children on holiday without permission will incur unauthorised absences for their child. These remain on the child’s record and will be monitored for further action by the Education Welfare Service. Parents could be issued with a fixed penalty notice and/or court action.
Thank you for your support and understanding.