Bure Valley School believes that excellent attendance is essential for a child to reach their full potential.
Therefore, we closely monitor pupil’s attendance.
To help pupils maintain an excellent attendance we discourage and are not likely to authorise any term time holidays.
Absence from school can usually only be justified when your child is ill.
Family holidays, outings, and where possible, medical and dental appointments should be arranged out of school time.
Missing school will affect your child’s learning. Therefore, we will only authorise absence in exceptional circumstances.
Parents and carers must apply in advance for permission for their child to have leave of absence. If absence has not be granted, it will be marked as unauthorised.
We follow and are expected to adhere to Norfolk County Council’s model School Attendance policy; which has been revised to reflect changes to the statutory guidance ‘Working together to improve school attendance’.
This policy stipulates:
- that if the school does not receive a request for leave in advance of the absence, your child’s absence will be recorded as unauthorised;
- where a pupil has at least 9 sessions (4.5 days) of unauthorised absence within a 6 week period the school is obliged to make a referral to the local Authority for consideration of legal intervention (a Fixed Term Penalty Notice).
We understand that there are times where a parent/carer may legitimately request leave of absence for their child due to an ‘exceptional circumstance’.
Within the Federation, leave of absence will not be granted unless there is an ‘exceptional circumstance’; this absence may only be granted at the discretion of the executive head teacher and/or head of school.
School will respond to all applications for leave of absence in writing.
Exceptional circumstances may be:
- Armed forces personnel returning from a tour of duty;
- Police or other service personnel whose leave has been cancelled during school holidays;
- Considered for families have experienced particularly challenging times such as a recent bereavement or serious illness;
- Where an employee has difficulties accessing a leave of absence during school holiday time (in this case, a letter from the employer is required to explain that this is the case).
Families should therefore expect that unless exceptional circumstances apply, any pupil who meets the criteria will be referred to the Local Authority for a fixed penalty notice.
Currently, our local council will give each parent a fine of £60, which rises to £120 each if you do not pay within 21 days. If you do not pay the fine after 28 days, you might be prosecuted for your child’s absence from school.
As set out in this policy, we will work with families to identify the reasons for poor attendance and try to resolve any difficulties at the earliest opportunity.
Our attendance policy aims to give clear guidance to staff, parents, pupils, and governors to:
- Support pupil’s achievement by establishing the highest possible levels of attendance and punctuality;
- Recognise the key role of all staff in promoting good attendance;
- Provide a clear framework for monitoring and responding to pupil absences;
- Make parents / carers aware of their legal responsibilities and ensure their children have access to the education to which they are entitled.
We recognise that attendance is a matter for the whole school community. Our Attendance Policy should not be viewed in isolation; it is a strand that runs through all aspects of school improvement, supported by our policies on safeguarding, prevention of bullying, behaviour, and inclusive learning.
This policy also considers the Human Rights Act 1998, the Equality Act 2010, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and other relevant legislation.
If you have any concerns, however trivial, please come and talk to us as soon as possible.