Attendance and Absence

It is the responsibility of parents of a child of school age to make sure that their child is educated.

Absence from school is recorded as

  • authorised, that is approved by the Education, and Children’s Services department, or as
  • unauthorised, that is unexplained by the parent (truancy).

Please let the school know by letter or email if it is a planned absence (e.g. hospital appointment) or phone by 9.30 a.m. on the day of your child’s unplanned absence (e.g. sickness bug).

You should update the school on each day of your child’s absence. If there is no explanation from a child’s parents, the absence will be regarded as unauthorised.

If you have not reported your child’s absence and they are absent at 9.30am you will be sent a text message requesting you call to explain their absence.

Please make every effort to avoid family holidays during term time as this will disrupt your child’s education and reduces learning time.

Headteachers can approve absences up to two school weeks (10 days) from school in certain situations. Any requests for extended absence over two school weeks (10 days) will be referred to the Senior Education Officer, who will decide if it will be recorded as authorised or unauthorised leave.

Please discuss your plans with your child’s Headteacher before booking the holiday. If they cannot give permission before the holiday, it will be recorded as unauthorised absence. They can authorise a holiday if you can prove that work commitments make a family holiday impossible during school holiday times.  Normally, your employer will need to provide evidence of your work commitments. Absence approved by the Headteacher on this basis is regarded as authorised absence.

Parents may request that their children be permitted to be absent from school to celebrate recognised religious events. Absence approved on this basis is regarded as authorised absence.  Extended leave can also be granted on request for families returning to their country of origin for cultural or care reasons.

A supportive approach is taken to unexplained absence. However the Education, and Children’s Services department has legal powers to write to, interview or prosecute parents, or refer pupils to the Reporter to the Children’s Panel, if necessary.