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Missing school for just a few days a year can damage students’ chances of gaining good GCSEs, according to a new report published by the Department for Education (March 2016).
The new research shows that overall absence had a negative link to attainment, with every extra day missed associated with a lower chance of achieving 5 or more good GCSEs.
Ensuring your son’s regular attendance is your legal responsibility and allowing absence from school, without good reason, creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution.
We fully support the Local Authority policy on fixed penalties for absence and will refer non-attenders to the Education Welfare Service.
New Government Attendance Levels
The Government have altered the levels of attendance expected from students in schools in England. The figure is now set at 95.5% and a student will now be classified as a persistent Absentee if their attendance drops below 90% (20 days off in the school year).
As the link between excellent attendance and excellent results has been proven by research, it is vital that parent/carers encourage full attendance.
Students are rewarded with Vivo points for regular attendance and punctuality. Those achieving 100% will receive further recognition and will be entered into prize draws at the end of term Celebration of Achievement Assemblies.
Leave of Absence
Rutlish School fully believes that leave of absence during term time should be avoided as it can have a damaging effect on a student’s education.
However, we do recognise that on occasions there may be extenuating or compassionate reasons that justify such leave.
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 state that Head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Head teachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.
With regard to the regulation outlined above Rutlish procedures are as follows:
- Parent/Carers must request leave for exceptional circumstances as far in advance as is possible.
- The request should be made in writing using the Leave of Absence form (also available from the school office and from the school attendance office)
- This must include the reason as to why it is felt that it is necessary to take a leave of absence. This may include any extenuating or compassionate reasons, including evidence of circumstances such as medical certificate or letter from employers.
On receipt of an application for leave of absence (on the appropriate form) together with any supporting documentation, consideration will be given to the circumstance and a decision will be made as soon as is possible.
Absence due to Religious Observance
We welcome the multi-faith nature of our school and recognise that some families’ important religious festivals may fall outside school holidays.
Government guidance says a student can be absent ‘on a day exclusively set aside for religious observance by the religious body to which the parent belongs.’
To try to make sure your son has the best chance of achieving their potential by being in school as much as is possible, no more than one day in any term will be authorised for any occasion of religious observance and no more than three days in any academic year.