Absence from school should obviously be kept to a minimum. Following any unavoidable absence a letter of explanation from the parents/carers is required. Any unauthorised absence will be recorded as such and by law will be reported to the Department for Education.
Existing law authorises certain categories of absence and protects parents from prosecution where a child is absent on any day:
- when prevented from attending by sickness or any unavoidable cause;
- exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which his or her parents belong;
- on the grounds that suitable transport has not been provided and the school is not within walking distance.
Currently, the Headteacher may not grant leave for annual holidays during term time, only in exceptional circumstances. Holidays will not be approved leading up to and during the National Curriculum tests, which take place in May. All eligible children are expected to attend school at this important time. The school should be notified in advance of term time absence; an appropriate form is available for this purpose from the school office, but only for exceptional circumstances. The Governors would ask parents to recognise that term time absence is best avoided in the interests of continuity in children’s programmes of study.
Parents are requested to telephone the school by 9.30 am on the first day of their child’s absence to advise of the reason for the absence and provide an indication of when their child is expected to return to school if the absence is due to sickness.
In the case of any contagious or infectious disease, the school should be notified as soon as possible. If a child is considered fit to return to school then he/she is expected to follow the normal curriculum. Therefore, children should be fully fit on return.
Should a child become ill while at school and it is considered serious enough, parents are contacted and asked to take the child home. It is therefore, essential that we have on record (confidentially if necessary) current telephone numbers at which parents, relatives or friends can be contacted during the school day.
The Headteacher or a senior member of staff, will assume the right to seek medical assistance at the surgery or hospital if this seems to be necessary and contact with parents proves impossible.