Absence and Lateness
Good attendance and punctuality are essential to the children’s success at school. If days are regularly missed, then continuity of learning and progress are significantly hampered as children find it difficult to catch up with missed work.
The school takes continual absence very seriously and will follow up all non attendance. The Governors and the Government (DfE), monitor levels of attendance and a report is presented to the Local Education Authority on a termly basis.
Whitehall Park School expectations:
- All children will arrive on time and be appropriately prepared for the day – continued lateness will be followed up by the school office or a senior member of staff.
- Health appointments should be made out of school hours whenever possible.
- Absences through illness should be reported to the school office by 9.30 am.
- Holidays are not to be taken in term time – due to a change in government regulations we are unable to authorise holiday absence even if your child has excellent attendance. Any absence for holidays will be unauthorised and if the attendance falls below an acceptable level may incur fines.
- A leave of absence in term time can only be authorised in exceptional circumstances.
The school responds to non-attendance by:
- If a child is sick and unable to come to school then parents / carers are expected to telephone the school on the first day of absence and inform the office of the reason why.
- If we do not hear from home by 9.30am on the first day, then the attendance officer will attempt to make contact requesting an explanation for the absence. If we are unable to contact the family by phone then a letter will be sent home.
- If the child returns to school within seven days, on return to school, parents/carers are asked to explain the absence by speaking to the office staff, writing a short note or completing the absence form linked below.
- If we have not heard from parents or have not received a reply to our phone calls /letters within seven days, then we will notify the Education Welfare Officer of our concern.
- Attendance is monitored on a monthly basis. Where attendance has fallen below 92% parents will receive a letter notifying them of their child’s attendance level and reminding them of the necessity of attending school on a regular basis. Where a pattern of non-attendance is emerging the parent/carer is invited to visit school to work with school staff to help resolve the difficulties.
- If attendance does not improve parents will be invited to a meeting with the school’s Education Welfare Officer.
Please view the schools’ Attendance Policy for full details:
Absence Request (Including holidays during term time)
Notes to Parents/carers
The law does not grant parents an automatic right to take their child out of school during term time. If the request is for a holiday in term time you must have Parental Responsibility and be the parent with whom the child normally lives. Permission for any type of absence during term time must be sought in advance and should only be requested in exceptional circumstances.
If you do not have Parental Responsibility and/or normally live with the child you must seek the consent of the parent who does and that person should complete this form. Whitehall Park School will only consider requests from that parent.
When deciding whether to allow term time leave, for any reason, we will consider:-
- The time and duration of the leave
- Your child’s record of attendance
- Learning that will be missed
Please note that we have the discretion to grant leave, but will only do so in exceptional circumstances. If we grant a leave request, it will be for us to determine the length of time that the child can be away from school. This leave is unlikely, however, to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday. Each request will be considered individually.
Parents can be fined for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from the school. Please be aware that a penalty notice (fine) can be issued to each parent who fails to ensure their children’s regular attendance at school.
WARNING: If Whitehall Park School refuses your request and the child is still taken out of school, this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence and this may make you liable to a £50/100 fine.
Please read through this guidance carefully, and complete the form at the back of this document to apply for absence. If you feel that you have any documents, or further information that may support your request for absence, please attach this to your application. We prefer you to make an application at least four weeks prior to the date of your request.
HOLIDAYS IN TERM TIME GUIDANCE
IMPORTANT: Please read carefully the information below.
WARNING: If you take your child on holiday in term time without the prior approval of [School Name], you may be liable for a £50 Penalty Notice* per parent per child. As a parent/carer, you can demonstrate your commitment to your child’s education by, whenever possible, taking your holidays during school holidays.
*Penalty Notice £50 if paid within 28 days, increasing to £100 if paid after 28 days and before 42 days.
To request absence during term time, please fill in the form here.