Absence / Holiday Procedures
The government has set a target of 96% attendance for all pupils in all schools.
Why is it important to attend school regularly?
· It will give your child the best possible start in life
· They will be able to keep up with their work
· They will have better future employment prospects
· The will be at less risk of becoming victims of crime
· They will be less likely to become involved in anti-social behaviour
· They will develop friendships and social skills
· IT IS THE LAW
Remember—90% attendance is the equivalent of missing half a day of school every week.
Penalty notices are issued as an alternative to prosecution and to secure an improvement in a pupil’s attendance without the need to appear in court. They are issued to each parent/carer for each child. The law states that both parents (or carers) are responsible for ensuring their child’s attendance at school whether they live with the child or not; also any adult who has day to day care of a child is responsible for the child’s attendance at school.
For more information please see the leaflets issued by Wiltshire Council;
What should you do if your child is going to be absent?
· Inform the school first thing in the morning of absence (01249 750454)
· Keep the school informed if absence is to be longer
· Organise authorised absence well in advance (forms below)
· If you cannot make doctor/dentist appointments out of school hours, wherever possible, your child should come to school before the appointment and return to school afterwards.
What you should do if your child is going to be late
· Phone school as soon as possible
· Go to main school office to register your child
· Remember that persistent lateness can be legally counted as unauthorised absence
The school will contact you by 9.30am if your child is not in school and we have not heard from you.
Wiltshire headteachers are expected to uphold the law when parents request leave during term time and schools are required to be proactive in discouraging absence. The policy below has been written collaboratively by all Chippenham Partnership schools and associated Governing Bodies in line with Wiltshire local authority guidance. Schools within the Partnership will adhere to this policy, ensuring consistency and clarity of information to parents.
- Unauthorised absence, i.e. absence not approved by the school, will incur a fine from Wiltshire Council if it totals 10 sessions or more.
- Families wishing to request an authorised absence must complete and submit a request form at least two weeks prior to families taking a holiday.
- Holiday applications will not be considered more than 9 months in advance.
- Holidays can only be requested by the carer/parent with whom the child resides.
Only in special circumstances will holiday leave be authorised during term time. Such special circumstances will include:
when a family needs to spend time together to support each other during or after a crisis;
service personnel, or other employees, who are prevented from taking holidays outside term time if the holiday will have minimal disruption to the pupil’s education.
If visiting close family members overseas (eg. Australia)
Guidance states that headteachers should not authorise a request if:
- It is during assessment weeks, National Curriculum SATs or examination periods;
- the pupil has an attendance rate of 92% and below.
- It overlaps with the beginning or end of a new term;
- It is due to availability of the desired accommodation;
It is due to availability of cheaper holidays;
- It is due to poor weather experienced in school holiday periods.
Only when the above special circumstances are met do headteachers have the discretion to authorise up to 10 days (20 sessions) absence for holidays in a school year.
Where the above special circumstances are not met holiday during term time will not be authorised. If parents still take their children out of school then the local authority may issue a fixed penalty notice. This is £120 per parent per child, where the child resides with both parents (reduced to £60 if paid within 28 days).