At Hardwicke Parochial Primary Academy, we recognise the importance of regular attendance. The overall level of attendance that we aim to achieve is 100%. Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential is that pupils need to attend school. Missing out on lessons leaves pupils vulnerable to falling behind. Pupils with poor attendance tend to achieve less in Primary and Secondary schools.
It is essential that pupils are at school on time. The school day begins at 8:50am and therefore, children need to be settled and in their classrooms ready to being to learn on time so that no there is no loss of learning.
All pupils should attend school for every session that is available to them. In total there are 190 school days which equates to 380 sessions (every school day must have two sessions divided by a break in the middle of the day) unless the reason for their absence is one that meets the school’s criteria for authorising absences, e.g. illness, non-routine medical/dental appointments, religious observance, educational visits and another unavoidable cause.
With effect from the 1st September 2013, the Department for Education changed the legislation about children's absence from school. The legislation makes it clear that more affordable holidays are not exceptional circumstances. Time off school for holidays is not a right.
Head teachers have the discretion to authorise holiday during term-time in exceptional circumstances.
Exceptional circumstance will not include reasons such as
- The holiday is cheaper
- Attending a wedding
- To celebrate a birthday/anniversary
It is difficult for the governing body and school, to provide parents with a list of what constitutes an exceptional circumstance and whilst it will be important to look at the whole situation in making decisions about any individual request, it has been agreed that our policy will be to normally refuse requests. The school's Attendance Policy makes clear that the requirement for exceptional circumstances means that the vast majority of requests will be refused and, if the holiday is taken anyway, this will constitute unauthorised absence which may result in the issue of a penalty notice to each parent in respect of each absent child.
Parents are requested at all times to contact the school office to discuss with Mrs Iannetta, any absence from school.
Parents are also reminded that we will follow up attendance with a number of measures, which may include contacting other agencies such as the Local Authority, Police and Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children's Board.