Sickness and Absences:
The Federation run a policy of ‘first day calling’. This means that if your child does not attend school we will give you a quick ring after registration to see how things are. If your child is poorly and going to miss school that day, please telephone the school before 0900 and leave a message either with the admin team or on the answerphone. If your child has had sickness and/or diarrhea, they will need to remain off school for 48 hours after the last bout of illness.
Please keep your contact details up to date. It is very important that any changes of telephone and mobile numbers for all contacts are given to the office as soon as they change. It is vital that we are able to reach you in an emergency situation or if your child is unwell.
If you are going to be late collecting your child, please telephone the school. We do not let children leave with any other adult unless we have had direct instructions from their parent or carer. We will never leave a child on their own. There will be occasions when staff may not be around to look after a child for a lengthy period. If you are going to be held up for any longer than 15 minutes, please let us know and we will be happy to put your child into the Out of School Club held at Lady Modifords. There will be a charge for this from the club.
Holidays in term time:
As taking children out of school for holidays during term time is a very contentious issue and has been much in the headlines, the Education Welfare Officer for the schools in the Tavistock area helped us put together a letter to parents to explain our shared position (see below).
However the schools understand there are often exceptional circumstances where a child may need to miss some school time. In these circumstances the decision is made on a case by case basis. Parents and carers can fill in the form (link on this page) and Mr Hamilton can decide to authorise up to 3 days leave for a child. If the request is for more than 3 days, the governing body will consider the request and then inform parents/carers. All our decisions are made with the best interests of the child at heart.
Letter to Parents/Carers re Holidays in Term Time.
We believe that in order for a pupil to fully benefit from their education, good attendance is crucial. It is the policy of our school to celebrate achievement and full attendance is a critical factor to a productive and successful school career.
As of September 2013, an amendment to the Education (Pupil Registration)(England) Regulations 2006 came in to force and greater clarity was introduced to the issue of schools authorising absence requests. These changes reinforced the Government’s view that every minute of every school day is vital and that pupils should only be granted authorised absences by the school in ‘exceptional circumstances’.
A family holiday is not normally considered by the Government to be an ‘exceptional circumstance’ and therefore will not be authorised by this school.
I must take this opportunity to remind you, that should you choose to take your child out of school without the authorisation of the school, then Parental Responsibility Measures could be instigated by the County. This could mean receiving any of the following;
• A Penalty Notice (assuming one has not been issued in the past 2 years)
• A summons to the Magistrate Court which could result in a fine of up to £2,500 and/or a term of imprisonment for up to 3 months.
These measures are decided upon and taken by the county not the school. The schools have no power to authorise fines nor rescind them. Schools are required to notify the Local Authority if a pupil has a number of unauthorised absences. Unauthorised absences can be acquired when;
1) Leave has been requested, but the circumstances are such that the school is unable to authorise the leave and it is taken anyway.
2) Leave is not requested and/or the school has grounds to believe that the child has been taken out of school for an avoidable reason (example – a family holiday). Only the Head teacher can authorise an absence. This year there have been occasions when schools have been notified that the pupil is sick, but the school later discovers and reasonably believes that the reason given for the absence is not genuine.
3) A child continually arrives late after the registration period has closed.
This school will be notifying the Local Authority in all of the circumstances listed above.
Should a Penalty Notice be issued as a result of unauthorised absence then one notice will be issued to each parent/carer for each child involved. Currently, each Penalty Notice is for £120, which is reduced to £60 if paid within the first 21 days. If a Penalty Notice goes unpaid after 28 days, then court proceedings will be initiated. If a previous Penalty Notice has been issued within the past 2 years then the Local Authority will proceed straight to Court.
We understand the disappointment that the refusal of a leave request may cause and we apologise, but as you can appreciate this policy represents the schools responsibility and commitment towards providing your child’s education and supporting their future life opportunities. We hope you will support us by ensuring that your son/daughter obtains the maximum benefit from their time at school by attending punctually for the 190 days each year that the law requires (unless prevented from doing so by an unavoidable circumstances).
Thank you for your anticipated support in this matter.