Attendance, Absence and Holidays
At Finstall First School, we recognise that regular attendance is extremely important. Pupils need to attend regularly if they are to get the most from the educational opportunities provided within our school and achieve maximum progress. Finstall First School has an excellent attendance record.
(Each day counts as two sessions)
If, unexpectedly, your child is unable to attend School, for any reason, please contact the school as soon as possible, preferably before 9.00am on the first day of absence, so that an appropriate entry can be made in the class register. Please do this by phone and not by e-mail as we cannot guarantee that e-mails will be read first thing in the morning. Please also keep the school informed if the absence continues and let us know when your child will be returning to school, preferably prior to their return.
To ensure the safety of your child, we will investigate all unexplained or unauthorised absences.
Ofsted Report 2015
“Attendance is consistently above average, and pupils are punctual to school and to lessons."
Requesting Leave for Holidays or other reasons
Should a parent wish to request leave during term time, they should first complete the form “Request for Leave during Term Time.” This is available below or from the School Office. Please complete and return this form well before the dates related to the request.
Parents will then receive, from the School, either:
i) A letter that explains that the request has not been approved and a reminder that, if taken, this leave will be recorded as unauthorised and may be subject to a Penalty Notice fine
ii) A letter that explains that the request has been approved because there are exceptional circumstances.
Examples of such letters are also available below. Please note that such letters will be sent irrespective of the length of the requested absence.
I would appreciate parents being mindful of the fact that, as a result of amendments to the Education Regulations 2006, Head Teachers may not grant any leave of absence unless there are exceptional circumstances. As a general guide, Head Teachers have been informed that, although each application should be considered on its individual merits, any activity, holiday or event that can be arranged during the annual 13 week holiday time should not be authorised during the School term. Should Head Teachers require it, further advice is available from the Education Investigation Service.
Once a Head Teacher is aware of the fact that a significant unauthorised absence has been taken, whether parents have informed the school or not, he or she must inform the Education Investigation Service, who will decide whether to a apply a Penalty Notice Fine.
Although we, as Head Teachers, may sympathise with parents who, for different circumstances, feel they need to take holidays during term time, it has been made very clear to us that the Leadership and Management of Schools will be subject to severe criticism if Head Teachers do not follow the processes described above.
Obviously, we would prefer that parents do not take children out of school for holidays but we would rather parents be honest, if they choose to do so, and even risk a fine rather than to ask their children to deceive their friends and teachers.
Further information about the policies outlined above can be found in the following documents from Worcestershire County Council’s Education Investigation Service –
“Education Penalty Notice - Code of Conduct”
“Leave in Term Time – Absence Policy”