As you know good attendance is really important not just in school but later in life too. We recently sent you an attendance leaflet and continue to work hard with you to ensure children attend well, get the most from their learning and develop good habits for adult life.
Children are now getting excited to be nominated best attending class of the week, which is great to see! Attendance is improving in school and we are very grateful to parents for supporting us in this - we are aiming to be better than the national average of 96% this year.
However one area of attendance has worsened this year. The amount of absence from holidays taken in school time has grown. Since September 2013, the government has removed the right of headteachers to authorise absence specifically for holidays of up to 10 days per year. Instead, headteachers can only grant leave of absence for any reason if there are exceptional circumstances.
Due to this increase the Governing Board have decided to enforce part of our attendance policy to reduce and discourage holiday absence. (The attendance policy can be found on the school website.) Effective from tomorrow, Tuesday 13th November, any holiday request that is not authorised as an exceptional circumstance by the Headteacher will be referred to the attendance team at the local authority who may choose to issue a penalty notice and fine parents. (This does not include leave of absence requests that have already been received prior to 13th November 2018)
Like you, we value your children’s education and want to ensure they get the best opportunities to develop. We also value the time they get to spend with families which is why, till now, we have not referred to the local authority in this regard. However, the increase in this type of absence has compelled us to address the problem differently. It also now brings our school into line with all other schools in the locality who already follow this practice.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter and please let me know if I can be of any help in improving your child’s attendance or if you have queries about this.