At Burton-on-the-Wolds we believe it is important to work in partnership with parents and carers to encourage children to attend school regularly in order for them to make the best possible progress whilst in education.
Attendance and Achievement:
There is clear evidence of a link between poor attendance at school and low levels of achievement. Of pupils who miss between 10% and 20% of school, only 35% achieve five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C including English and Maths whereas 73% of pupils who attend school for 95% of the time achieve this.
Clearly this data is from Key Stage 4 but good attendance should start at primary school. The staff and governors of Burton-on-the-Wolds recognise that the earlier schools address attendance ‘issues’ the less likely it is that they will become a long term issue.
Absence and Family Holidays:
One of the aspects that affects attendance is Family Holidays (absence) during Term Time.
It is recognised that pupil absence during term time can seriously disrupt a pupil’s continuity of learning. Parents are therefore asked not to book a family holiday in term time.
Parents do not have an automatic right to withdraw pupils from school for a holiday and in law, have to apply for permission in advance. At Burton-on-the-Wolds, holidays will only be granted in exceptional circumstances (this is in line with the all of the schools in the Local Authority) such circumstances could include:
· a short absence (maximum of 2 days) to attend a family wedding (parent, sibling, aunt, uncle...)
· a religious/cultural festival, may constitute an exceptional circumstance (maximum of 2 days per year)
· If a parent, due to the nature of their work, cannot possibly take time off during the regular school holidays, then this might constitute an exceptional circumstance. However, this will need to be evidenced by a letter from the employer (this letter must be on that company’s official headed notepaper). A request of this nature will not be considered without one, and repeat requests of this kind will not be granted
· a short absence to attend to family illness (in this country or abroad)
However, to have a week’s winter or summer holiday in school time, because the cost is cheaper during term time, does not constitute an exceptional circumstance and permission will not be granted.
A birthday celebration (pupil or family member) does not constitute an 'exceptional circumstance' and permission will not be granted.
Unless a request meets one of the above criteria it will not be considered for authorisation.
Should you wish to make a request for ‘absence for your child’ you need to complete an ‘Absence Application Form’ available from the School Office (or downloadable - see below), or you can e-mail in a request and the details will be transferred on to the form for you. The request will then be considered and you will be informed of the decision reached.
Taking a child on holiday without permission is regarded as an unauthorised absence and parents doing so may be issued with a Penalty Notice by Leicestershire Education Authority. Penalty Notices may also be issued for persistent absence and other forms of unauthorised absence.
The school works in partnership with the Childrens’ Attendance and Welfare Service (CAWS) who support the school in maintaining a high attendance figure. CAWS has the ‘brief’ to ensure that all children of school age, for whom they are responsible, attend school regularly and arrive on time; CAWS works within set legal guidelines.
If your child is too ill for school or is unable to attend for any other reason please telephone school on the first day of the absence. If your child has had sickness or diarrhoea they should stay away from school until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours.
If your child should be taken ill at school or have an accident we will contact you. If you are not available we will contact the person you have named on your `Pupil Information' form. It helps if you can tell us of any change of telephone number or address of all contacts, as soon as possible.
We are also sensitive to individual cases of absenteeism due to family circumstances or a request for absence. However, some of our children’s absences are causing concern. We want to stress that children should be in school unless they are unwell. We want to work with parents and carers to ensure that children are in school everyday unless they are ill. We will be writing to parents this week whose child’s absence is falling below 96%. Please do not be upset or cross with school for doing this. This is our duty of care for your child; a safeguarding concern if absences are unexplained and a concern that your child is missing their education. We have a range of support mechanisms in place for parents and children who are finding attending school difficult. Please do speak to your child’s class teacher if you have concerns about your child’s attendance or getting your child to school. We continue to monitor attendance on a weekly basis and if we have concerns, we will be contacting you to speak to a member of the Leadership about this matter in order for us to work together to ensure their attendance improves.