Magdalen Gates Primary is a good school (Ofsted, 2018) that is working very hard to become an excellent school. Our school motto, ‘Working together to give every child the best’ describes what we are trying to achieve and how we are intending to get there.
Please help your child to attend school regularly and on time. Absence for illness/medical appointments must be confirmed by telephone, letter or in person from an adult, in order for it to be authorised. Please let us know on the first day of any absence from school.
We always follow up unexplained absence, by telephoning or texting parents on the first day. Good attendance and good achievement are intrinsically linked.
Holiday requests will not be authorised during term time. Time taken off for holidays during term time will appear as unauthorised on your child’s records.
Please refer to the Government guidelines below relating to holidays/leave of absence. Requests for leave of absence must be made on the official form which you can obtain from the school office. Please return the form to the school office before the planned absence.
Leave of absence during Term Time
You are required under the Education Act (1996) to ensure your child attends school regularly. There is however, a discretionary power to allow leave of absence in exceptional circumstances during term time. This is not an entitlement and purely at the discretion of the schools head teacher. Schools should not authorise absences if they believe it is to the detriment of a student’s education or if the absences are during school exam periods and SAT’s.
Before completing this application we would advise that you consider very seriously how the absences will affect your child’s education. National statistics show 10 days absence in any academic year does have a negative effect on attainment. Schools are not obliged to provide work for students taking leave of absence; however some schools may choose to do this.
The government advises that any refusal of leave of absence must be recorded as unauthorised by the school on the student’s records. As you may be aware unauthorised absences may result in legal proceedings against you either through a Fixed Penalty Notice or the Magistrates’ Court.
Discuss with the school any request for leave of absence prior to making a booking. Your child’s school may have a designated person for this. It is the parent/carers responsibility to ensure you receive confirmation from the school before the leave is taken. Do not assume permission Is granted if you have not received written confirmation.
If the head teacher does not approve an application for a leave of absence an appeal can be made through the Governing Body. This cannot be made retrospectively.
Fixed Penalty Notices
The Local Authority has statutory powers to use Penalty Notices to help tackle irregular school attendance and unauthorised absences. An unauthorised absence is any absence that the school has not given permission for or the parent/carer has been unable to provide a reason for the absence, which is acceptable to the school.
The school will discuss with the Local Authority any cases of unauthorised absence and whether the issuing of a Penalty Notice would be appropriate. A Penalty Notice is an alternative to a prosecution to the offence and can be issued when it is felt that parents/carers are failing in their legal responsibility to ensure their child attends school regularly.
The penalty is in the form of a £60 fine per parent/carer per child payable within 21 days, this increases to £120 payable per parent/carer per child within 28 days. Failure to pay usually results in prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court.
•(Academic year =school year from September to July)