Please give sufficient detail in order that the exact “type” of absence can be recorded in the school register eg. “illness” or “hospital appointment”.
Mrs Mackenzie, Pastoral Support Manager, works with children and their familes to ensure that school attendance levels are good. If pupils are not in school they cannot learn -persistent and unexplained absence will result in a direct communication with home. In extreme cases, or where it is felt that there is a particular need, the Educational Welfare Service will become involved.
In light of recent legislation, Longspee Academy as a rule is unable to support family holidays in school time. In exceptional circumstances the Academy may be able to grant permission.
If a pupil leaves the school and the immediate vicinity without permission, parents are notified and the Police may be asked to become involved. Sanctions are applied to those children leaving the school following their return.
In the event of accident, injury or illness while the child is at school, the appropriate procedures will be followed and the parent/carer informed. The parents/carers may be requested to collect the child from the Academy in these circumstances. In the event of a serious accident or injury sustained by the child outside of school time, to ensure their safety, we may require that the parent/carer keep the child at home for a reasonable period before returning to school.
Fast Track Prosecution:
Attendance at school is a legal requirement and as a parent/carer it is your duty to ensure regular attendance at school for your child/ren. As an Academy we work hard to support parents/carers but have a duty to report matters of poor school attendance to the Local Authority Education Welfare Officer at regular intervals.
Under Section 444 of the 1996 Education Act parents/carers may be fined up to £2,500 per parent/carer per child for failure to ensure regular school attendance.
In September 2004 the Government have requested adoption of a fast track process where parents/carers will receive a court hearing within a 12 week period from referral to the Education Welfare Service. This Academy has been operating such a system since January 2005. We would be grateful therefore if you could contact us to discuss any issues which may prevent school attendance at the earliest opportunity.
Penalty Notices involve each parent/carer paying a fine currently of £60.00 if paid within 28 days of issue or £120 if paid within 42 days of issue. If the fine is not paid in full within these set time scales, prosecution in the court under Section 444 of the 1996 Education Act will be pursued by the Education Welfare Service.
Penalty Notices will be issued by the Education Welfare Service and can only be issued in cases of unauthorised absence. The issuing of a penalty notice is considered appropriate in the following circumstances:
- Regular overt truancy
- Parentally condoned absences
- Excessive delayed return from extended holidays without prior Academy agreement
- Persistent late arrival at school
‘It is important for parents/carers to note that once Longspee Academy have requested that the Local Authority issue a Fixed Penalty Notice for a period of unauthorised leave in term time, you will not have an opportunity to discuss this matter further with the Local Authority. Any queries or discussions should be had prior to, or at the time of requesting the leave.’