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We are required to distinguish in our registers between authorised and unauthorised absence of pupils and to publish the same. The regulations state that it is the school who authorises an absence or designates an absence as unauthorised.
When your child returns to school from an absence, he/she must bring a note, signed by a parent/guardian, stating the reason for the absence. We can then determine whether the absence is an authorised one or not. Word of mouth messages are best avoided in these circumstances.
Following amendments to existing regulations (taking effect as of 1st September 2013), the Local Authority has a statutory duty under the Education Act 1996 to initiate legal proceedings where a child is not receiving suitable education by regular attendance at school or otherwise.
The areas of legislation that LCC has responsibility for include:
· School Attendance Order – Section 437 Education Act 1996
If it appears to LCC that a child of compulsory age is not receiving suitable education a notice will be served in writing.
· Prosecution under Section 444(1) and 441(1A) Education Act 1996
If a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school is failing to attend regularly at the school, parent(s) are guilty of an offence.
Statutory Duties of Schools include:
· Advising LCC of any pupil who fails to attend regularly or has 10 or more days of continuous unauthorised absence, or a family holiday (of 5 days or more).
· Complying with statutory registration & deletion procedures.
As a consequence:
As of 1st September 2013, LCC will issue Penalty Notices where parents choose to take a family holiday during term time.
The parent(s) of any child who has absences recorded as a result of an unauthorised family holiday will each be fined £60 which must be paid within a 21 day period. Failure to pay the fine(s) within this timescale, will result in the fines being doubled to £120 which will need to be paid within 28 days of the original fine being issued. If the fine(s) remain unpaid after the full 28 days has expired, parents may face legal action under section 444 of the Education Act 1996. If found guilty of an offence under this Act, parents will receive a criminal record and could be fined up to £1,000.
Please Note: All financial penalties will be made payable to LCC and the resources will be used to cover the costs of administering legal proceedings resulting from the non-payment of Penalty Notices.
The Governing Body of The Hall School, at its meeting on 30th September 2013, agreed to uphold the LCC Protocol.
Consequently the Co-Headteachers will issue Formal Warnings in relation to family holiday requests or other periods of unauthorised absence.
Authorised absence is given for the following categories as defined by the Department for Education:
sickness or unavoidable cause
lack of transport where the school is not within walking distance
participation in approved public performance
absence following the death of a close member of the family
receiving part-time temporary education elsewhere/off site
exclusion from school
approved sporting activity
Please 'phone the school (0116 287 3582) between 8.30am and 8.45am if your child is not going to be present that day. PLEASE ONLY DO THIS if you have not already informed your child's teacher or the office (either personally or by 'phone or letter) about the absence.
To be CERTAIN that we know, please make the call PERSONALLY whenever possible.
When the registers are returned to the office at 9.00am we will 'phone within 30 minutes, where possible, the parents/carers of all children whose absences are not explained to us by 8.45am on that day. It is not our legal responsibility to ensure the safe arrival of children onto the school site. However, their safety is of paramount concern to us and we wish to work in partnership with you to do all we reasonably can in securing it.