Holy Souls RC Primary School
Addressing School Absences
It is exceptionally important that children attend school every day. The Department for Education (DfE) states that ‘pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education’. Please take the time to read the following information and help us to continue to improve our attendance figures.
Reducing Illness Days
Every half-day absence (morning or afternoon) from school has to be classified by the school as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required.
The DfE 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;
• Act early to address patterns of absence.
• Parents to perform their legal duty by ensuring their children of compulsory school age who are registered at school attend regularly.
• All pupils to be punctual to their lessons’.
Authorised absences are morning or afternoons away from school for a good reason like illness (where a child is too ill to attend school), urgent medical/dental appointments which fall in school time, emergencies or other unavoidable causes.
The DfE guidance states for illness:
‘If the authenticity of illness is in doubt, schools can request parents to provide medical evidence to support illness. Schools can record the absence as unauthorised if not satisfied of the authenticity of the illness but should advise parents of their intention. Schools are advised not to request medical evidence unnecessarily. Medical evidence can take the form of prescriptions, appointment cards, etc. rather than doctors’ notes.’
The DfE guidance states for Medical/Dental Appointments:
‘Missing registration for a medical or dental appointment is counted as an authorised absence. Schools should, however, encourage parents to make appointments out of school hours. Where this is not possible, the pupil should only be out of school for the minimum amount of time necessary for the appointment.’
Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable, and for which no ‘leave’ has been given. This type of absence can lead to the Authority using sanctions and/or legal proceedings.
DfE school attendance guidance for unauthorised absences are:
'Code O: Absent from school without authorisation. If the school is not satisfied with the reason given for absence they should record it as unauthorised.
Code U: Arrived in school after registration closed. Schools should actively discourage late arrival, be alert to patterns of late arrival and seek an explanation from the parent.'
How to inform School of an absence
All absences from school need a written or verbal explanation, so please send in a brief note or ring school if your child/ren have been absent.
Illness in school
If your child is unwell at school we will contact the people in order of preference, as specified on our computer system for your child and request for them to be collected. Please make sure you inform the school of any telephone/mobile changes so we can always contact someone if necessary.
Absence requests in term-time - Exceptional Circumstances
Regulations state the Headteacher "may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances". It’s up to the Headteacher how many days your child can be away from school if leave is granted. Please complete a discretionary leave of absence form (see link to form below) and return to school either by hand or via email at email@example.com. Mrs Ellison will then consider your application and respond in due course.