If your child is not well enough to attend school, you must inform the school office by 9:00 a.m. each morning of their absence. The telephone number to call is 01869 324061. If your child has sickness or diarrhoea, the ‘48 Hours Rule’ applies. Please ensure that you seek medical advice if you have any concerns about your child’s health.
Education Welfare Changes
The White Horse Federation has a dedicated education welfare officer, Cheryl Croft. Cheryl has outlined the school's expectations in regards to attendance as listed below:
- Children should be in school every day and arrive on time.
- Please ensure that you communicate reasons for absence to school by 8:45 a.m. on the morning of each day of absence.
- School attendance that drops below 95% is considered a cause for concern (95% equates to 10 missed days across a whole school year). Attendance below that level for this academic year will trigger a new process by which you will receive notification of your child’s attendance. If this does not improve there is a graduated response which could result in legal action.
- To help, please try to make medical appointments (where possible) outside of the school day, take holidays out of school term time, and communicate any reasons for absence clearly with school staff.
- Excellent attendance at school is important to allow a child to fulfil their potential.
Absence From School During Term Time
Any requests for absence during term time should be submitted to the principal in writing (form available from the school office) at least two weeks prior to the absence.
All holidays will be unauthorised, except in exceptional circumstances, and is at the discretion of the principal and only if the child’s attendance is above 95%.
Legal Background and DfE Guidelines
While schools are required to consider parental requests for absence from school in term time, it still remains the legal duty of parents to ensure the regular attendance of a child of compulsory school age. Failure to do so could result in the local authority issuing a penalty notice or prosecuting the parents in the magistrates’ court.
DfE guidelines clearly state that absence from school can be taken in exceptional circumstances, and this means that the parent must make a strong case for taking a child out of school in an academic year. Exceptional circumstances must be explained fully to the school who will then consider the request. Any medical appointments/procedures during school time are always authorised but the school does require evidence, such as appointment cards or letters.
Parents should not expect that schools would automatically agree to an absence from school during term time. All requests are at the discretion of the principal and can only be authorised by the principal or the member of staff with designated authority in the absence of the principal.