We would ask you to refrain from emailing tutors directly concerning absences as they are unable to authorise these. Notification of absence is required for each day of every absence that has not been previously authorised. This is to ensure that students are not absent from school without their parents or the school’s knowledge or consent. A letter is not required if a phone call has been received.
The criteria for absences is as laid down by the Local Education Authority.
Absences of 5 days or more: In the event that a child is absent for 5 days or more, we may require evidence that medical advice for the child’s illness has been obtained. This could be in the form of a screen shot of a call made to 111, the local surgery/GP or an appointment card from the surgery. In the event that no evidence is forthcoming, the school may decide to issue a fixed penalty warning or in the case of repeated incidences, a fixed penalty fine.
Safeguarding – No advice from parents/carers: In the event that a child is absent and we do not receive a call or email for the absence, a message will be sent to the parent. If no response is forthcoming and we are unable to make contact with a responsible adult, the school may escalate the matter to the police and/or social services.
Suspected holiday: Where a child is reported as being unwell but it is suspected they are on holiday, a letter will be issued to ask for evidence of the child’s illness. If the absence cannot be substantiated, proceedings may be taken to initiate a fixed penalty fine.
Fines: It should be noted that fines are currently £60 per child per responsible adult. As an example: a child living at home with one parent and a sibling over the age of 18, but also in contact with the other parent living apart, the fine would amount to £180.
In the event that your child becomes a persistent absentee i.e attendance is 90% or below, we would liaise with Oxfordshire County Council who would then monitor their attendance. If the student’s attendance does not improve, OCC may start the proceedings for prosecution. If prosecuted and found guilty, a parent would get a criminal record and a fine up to £1000.
Please note: Only the school is permitted to authorise absences. Absences cannot be authorised by a parent/carer.
The school will always work with parents to try and minimise the impact of absences in school and give support wherever possible. We will consider requests for leave for special reasons sympathetically and would like to stress that the above are intended only to discourage unnecessary time spent away from school. Should you have any queries concerning absences, please contact the Attendance Officer.
Lateness: If your child is late for school, they must sign in at the office. If they are late 3 or more times in one week without good reason, they will be required to attend an after school detention. It is important that each student begins the day promptly and organised. We would therefore be grateful for your cooperation in ensuring your child’s punctuality.
Absence Requests (other than for medical appointments): Parents may not authorise absence; only schools can do this. Schools may authorise any absence they deem appropriate; conversely, they can refuse to authorise any absence. Parents do not have an automatic right to withdraw students from school for a holiday, and, in law, have to apply for permission in advance. Retrospective approval may not be given. Holidays taken during term time without approval from the Headteacher will be recorded as unauthorised. Removal of your child for a holiday in term time without permission without authorisation from the Headteacher may lead to issuing of fixed penalty notice or even prosecution under section 444 of the Education Act.
Absence Requests for medical appointments: Please email: [email protected] with requests for absence due to medical appointments.
What to do: Requesting absence should be done in writing at least one month prior to the absence. If the child does not return to school after an agreed period, they may be marked as having unauthorised absence. Requests for absence should be made in writing to the Deputy Headteacher Ms S Burman, via the attendance officer: Mrs Debbie Hayward [email protected] stating the dates of absence and the reason for the absence, the school reserves the right to seek further information about the requested absence.