Pupil Attendance & Term Time Holiday

In an effort to maintain our excellent attendance and academic attainment at Barrow, we have revisited our attendance policy. We hope that the information below and leaflet are useful to you and inform you about some small changes.

 

Pupil Attendance – Leave in Term Time 

The Government amended key legislation relating specifically to the authorisation of leave in term time which originally came into force on 1st September 20131. This decision was made to encourage schools to take a firmer stance on unnecessary absence and to dispel the myth held by many parents that there is an entitlement to time off school for holidays in term time. 

Headteachers cannot authorise any leave of absence during term time unless they are satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances to warrant the granting of leave.   

As a result of these and a fluctuating attendance figure, the Governing Body has taken the decision to make the following changes to our school attendance policy and procedures: 

If your child is absent you must:

  • Contact us as soon as possible on the first day of absence, either by phone or you can call into school and report to reception by 10am at the latest.

If your child is absent we will:

  • Telephone you on the first day of absence by 10am if we have not heard from you;
  • Invite you in to discuss the situation with our attendance lead and/or head teacher if absences persist;
  • Consider using parenting contracts or panel meetings in order to identify barriers to regular attendance and agree targets for improvement;
  • Refer the matter to the local authority school attendance team, where appropriate;
  • Consider requesting that the local authority issue penalty notices in accordance with LCC's Code of Conduct, or use other legal sanctions, as appropriate, in order to improve attendance.

There are times when we need to contact parents about lots of things, including absence, so we need to have your contact numbers at all times. So help us to help you and your child by making sure we always have an up to date number – if we don’t then something important may be missed. There will be regular checks on telephone numbers throughout the year.

Barrow Primary School defines irregular attendance in line with the thresholds set out for the use of penalty notices within the Local Authorities Code of Conduct.

Lateness:

Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If your child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the day. Late arriving pupils also disrupt lessons, which can be embarrassing for the child and can in turn, encourage absence. Being 10 minutes late every day throughout the academic year is the same as missing two weeks of school.

How we manage lateness:

Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If your child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the day. Late arriving pupils also disrupt lessons, which can be embarrassing for the child and can in turn, encourage absence. Being 10 minutes late every day throughout the academic year is the same as missing two weeks of school.   

The school day starts at 9.00am and we expect your child to be in class at that time. The afternoon session starts at 1.00pm and again, prompt attendance is expected.

Registers are marked by 9.05am/1.05pm and your child will receive a late mark if they are not in by that time.

At 9.15am/1.15pm the registers will be closed.  In accordance with regulation, if your child arrives after that time they will receive a mark that shows them to be on site, but this will not count as a present mark and it will mean they have an unauthorised absence. This may mean that you could face the possibility of a penalty notice if the problem persists.

If your child has a persistent late record you will be asked to meet with the head teacher and/or a member of the pastoral support team to resolve the problem, but you can approach us at any time if you are having problems getting your child to school on time.

 

Leave in term time:

Taking a child out of school in term time will affect their schooling as much as any other absence and we expect parents to help us by not taking children away in school time.

Remember that any savings you think you may make by taking a holiday in school time are offset by the cost to your child’s education.

There is no automatic entitlement in law to take leave during school time.

All applications for leave must be made, in advance, by the parent of residence using the 'Request for leave of absence' form before committing to an event, holiday or expense; this form will only be available from the Headteacher during an appointment to discuss the absence.


It is important that parents understand that leave in term time will not be agreed by us at any time unless circumstances surrounding the request can be evidenced, by parents, to be exceptional. Requests for absence in exceptional circumstances will go to Governors. Therefore, parents are advised to provide school with any relevant information regarding their request at the point of application if they believe the circumstances are exceptional.  Information provided after a decision has been made may not be considered.

In certain circumstances, where leave has been agreed, parents risk losing their child's place on the school roll if the pupil does not return to school on the agreed return date and readmission cannot be guaranteed.

The specific criteria which outline when a pupil can be removed from roll in these circumstances are laid out in Regulation 8 (1) (f) (i-iii) of The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, as amended.

We hope all parents will acknowledge and understand the limitations placed on schools in granting any leave in term time. Therefore, we need parents to support the school in our efforts to reduce unnecessary absence and thus minimise the impact on the education of our pupils.

 

Parents are asked to complete an application for leave form for any request for leave.

Please click here to view Barrow Primary School 'Improving Attendance and Maintaining Attainment' leaflet

Please click here to view Barrow Primary School Attendance Policy