Pupils must not be absent from school unless they are ill – casual or holiday absence is not granted. At Kings’ School we have always stressed the importance of regular attendance and detailed monitoring systems involving Tutors, Heads of Year, Attendance Manager and Child/Family Support Worker are in place.
Legislation requires that schools investigate thoroughly any suspected cases of unauthorised absence and report the results of these investigations to the appropriate authorities as required.
• Co-operation is therefore requested in restricting, as far as possible, dental and medical appointments to out of school hours.
• Please telephone, text or email the school on each day of your child’s absence with a reason for the absence. If your child has a prolonged illness, please telephone the school to alert us.
Absence Line: 01962 861161 and leave a message by 9.00am on the dedicated line.
Text: 01962 600028
Main School telephone number: 01962 861161.
Open hours 8.30 am to 4.30 pm.
• Parental notes to confirm legitimate absence must be provided promptly on your child’s return to school if you have left a message on the pupil absence line. A letter would not be needed if you have informed us via email or text.
• If a pupil is temporarily unfit for Physical Education a note must be brought from parent of guardian.
• In cases of prolonged illness or disability a medical certificate from the doctor is required.
Pupil Absence Changes
- Request for leave of Absence
Amendments to school attendance regulations were updated and enforced from 2013: (Pupil Registration) (England) regulations state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
In making a request for an authorized absence from school, parents should write to the headteacher and explain why the circumstance are exceptional. If the absence is unauthorised and if the number of sessions hits the thresholds set down in Hampshire’s Code of Conduct parent/carers will be issued with a fixed penalty, or other legal action may be considered.
The maximum number of penalty notices is two per child per parent, during a 12 month period. Further information can be found in the Hampshire County council Code of Conduct.
New Attendance Guidelines 2015/2016: Interim Adjustments
Following the outcome of the Isle of Wight Council –v- Platt legal case and pending a judgement by the Supreme Court there have been some interim adjustments to Hampshire County Council’s position on term time absence.
Schools are instructed to continue to unauthorise absence for holidays in term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. However, as an interim measure, fines will only be issued if the pupil’s attendance drops below 90%.
The issuing of penalty notices solely for non-attendance by a pupil at a statutory assessment or formal examination has been withdrawn. Schools have now been instructed to code these absences as unauthorised. It is important to note that penalty notices can still be issued if a pupil has an unauthorised absence attendance level below 90% for a twelve month period; this can straddle academic years. There is no change to the issuing of Penalty Notices for persistent lateness – this means 10 late arrivals. Penalty Notices will lead to a fine of £60-£120 and could eventually result in a prosecution. As a school, we will continue to work constructively with parents to promote good attendance. We understand that it can present problems for some families and we will do our very best to be supportive, but we will also be complying with these new arrangements.
Why have they been introduced?
Reducing absence and improving punctuality in schools is a key priority both nationality and locally because missing school damages a pupil’s attainment levels, disrupts school routines as well as the learning of others and can leave a pupil vulnerable to anti-social behaviour and youth crime.
Above all, missing school seriously affects children’s longer-term life opportunities.
Under existing legislation, parents/carers commit an offence if their child fails to attend school regularly and punctually and the absence is recorded by the school as unauthorised. Absence is recorded as unauthorised. Unless it is taken with permission of the school or is for some unavoidable reason. Punctuality is recorded as unauthorised absence when the pupil arrives after the register has been closed. Depending upon the circumstances, such cases may result in prosecution by the LA under the Education Act 1996, section 444. A Penalty Notice is an alternative to prosecution.
What happens if I do not pay?
You will have up to 21 days at £60 or 28 days at £120 from the date of posting to pay the Penalty Notice in full. If you fail to do so, the local authority is required, by law, to commence proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court for the original offence of poor school attendance. If convicted of this offence under the Education Act 1996 there are a number of possible sentences, including a fine of up to £1,000 (in the case of a prosecution under section 444(1)) or a fine of up to £2,500 and/or a period of up to three months’ imprisonment (in the case of a prosecution under section 444(1A)).
If you require further information please contact us.