WHY ATTENDANCE MATTERS
For our children to gain the greatest benefit from their education, it is vital that they attend regularly, so your child should be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.
Nationally, pupils with the highest attainment and best rate of progress at the end of key stage 2 and key stage 4 have higher rates of attendance compared to those with the lowest attainment.
There is a clear correlation nationally between poor school attendance and a number of extra-familial harms. This includes crime (90% of young offenders had been persistently absent) and serious violence (83% of knife possession offenders had been persistently absent in at least 1 of the 5 years of study).
Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school (not by the parents), as either “authorised” or “unauthorised”. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required. Any pupil arriving after the register is “closed” which is half an hour after the start of the session is recorded as “absent through lateness”, this too is categorised as either authorised or unauthorised.
Taking holidays in term time will affect your child’s 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 and any potential fine
There is no automatic entitlement in law to time off in school time to go on holiday. If you believe that there are truly exceptional circumstances that require taking your child out of school please contact our Headteacher at least three weeks before the date. All schools in Oxfordshire are encouraged to adopt a policy of not authorising Exceptional Leave. Certainly a request for a holiday would not meet the criteria of exceptional leave.
It is very important therefore that you make sure that your child attends regularly and the School Attendance Policy sets out how together we will achieve this.
Parents/carers, staff and Governors can gain further information and help from the DFE publication “Working Together To Improve School Attendance”: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-improve-school-attendance.