Important Changes to Attendance Procedures for Issuing Penalty Notices for Unauthorised Absence
You may recall that the Department for Education (DfE) introduced changes to the law regarding parents taking their children out of school during term time last year. It is illegal for headteachers to grant any leave of absence during term time unless in exceptional circumstances.
Penalty notices ranging from £60 to £120 can be issued to parents by the LEA.
There have been some very recent changes in the Local Authorities’ Code of Conduct
Penalty Notice for leave of absence (holiday) in term time
From 1st January 2018 any period of unauthorised leave may result in you as a parent receiving a penalty notice fine. The Principal will continue to be the only person able to authorise leave in term time, but this will apply only in exceptional circumstances (evidence may be requested at the time of application). Any unauthorised absence will be referred by the Principal to the local authority.
Penalty Notice for Persistent Lateness
Previously a pupil had to achieve 20 unauthorised late marks before a penalty notice warning could be issued. This has now changed to 10 marks, and late marks do not have to be one after the other in order for the penalty notice to be issued. You are therefore encouraged where possible to ensure your child attends school on time. However, if your child is late you must inform the school of the reason(s) why, as they may be able to offer you some form of advice or support.
Period of time used to measure persistent absence or lateness
If your child has had 10 days unauthorised absence or is late 10 times over a twelve week period, you may receive a penalty warning notice and also potentially a fine.
These changes have been implemented to help promote and support good attendance to school. Futher details and a copy of the revised Code of Conduct for issuing Penalty Notices can be obtained from the council's website www.staffordshire.gov.uk/education.
St Filumena’s is obliged to follow these new procedures. It is extremely important that your child’s education programme is not disrupted by unauthorised absence. Only in exceptional circumstances can the Principal grant any leave of absence.
Medical appointments during the school day
We encourage parents/carers to make any routine checks (e.g. dentist checks/general health checks) during the school holidays, however we are also aware that some appointments (i.e. consultants/hospital appointments) may be out of your control. If your child needs to attend an appointment during the school day, we will ask you to inform the school office in advance of the appointment and to provide a copy of the medical appointment letter/attendance card (which can be gained from the medical receptionist at the time of attending the clinic/doctors) for our records; we also ask that if the appointment results in a change to your child's medical records, that you inform us in writing so that we can accurately update your child's records to ensure all needs are met.
If your feel that your child's medical needs could affect their attendance, you may wish to have support from the school nurse and meet with your child's class teacher to create a care plan to facilitate their needs.
More information on attendance and punctuality can be found in the policies section of our website.
Thank you for your support.