A record of attendance and absence now forms part of a pupil’s permanent school record.
Absences are recorded as either authorised or unauthorised.
Unauthorised Absences are any absences from school that are not supported by a letter from a parent and do not give an acceptable reason for absence such as illness. It is the school’s decision whether an absence is recorded as authorised or unauthorised.
If your child is absent please notify the school by 9.15am on the first day and a letter needs to be sent in to school with the reason for the absence to meet Welsh Assembly Government regulations. If we do not hear from you by 10 o’clock then the school will contact you.
The school would be grateful of prior notice if a child has to attend an appointment such as going to the dentist or opticians during school time. Although we would request that whenever possible these appointments are made outside of the school day.
Unauthorised Absences have to be reported to the Governing Body and the National Assembly by law. All school registration is now done electronically linked direct to the Pembrokeshire Education Authority.
Holidays during term time.
The following information has been provided by ERW our Regional Education Consortium.
In Wales we want all of our pupils to achieve success, so it is important that parents do their best to support pupils in attending school for the full 190 days in an academic year, as stated in the Education (School Day and School Year) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2006.
Under the Education Act (1996), it is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that their son/daughter attend school.
Regular school attendance is vital and missing school can have a significant impact on achievement over a one year period as illustrated below:
|Best chance of success||Your child is taking full advantage of every learning opportunity.|
|At least 2 weeks of learning missed||Satisfactory. Your child may have to spend time catching up with work.|
|At least 4 weeks of learning missed||Your child may be at risk of underachieving and may need extra support from you to catch up with work.|
|At least 5 ½ weeks of learning missed||Your child’s poor attendance has a significant impact on learning.|
|At least 7½ weeks
of learning missed
|Your child is missing out on a broad and balanced education. You are at risk of prosecution.|
To support our drive to increase pupil attendance that absences due to holidays during term times will only be authorised by the Head-Teacher under exceptional circumstances.
We hope that you can support this policy change and arrange your holidays around the existing 175 days the schools are closed through weekends and school holidays and help us support your child in achieving success in school.
The ERW consortium believe that any absence from school, for whatever reason, is detrimental to a child’s long term life opportunities, so should be avoided if at all possible. Reducing absence from school is a key priority, both nationally and locally, because missing school damages a pupil’s attainment levels, disrupts school routines and can leave a pupil vulnerable to anti-social behaviour and youth crime.
A Penalty Notice is an alternative to prosecution with the aim of seeking to secure an improvement in the pupil’s attendance.
A Penalty Notice can be requested by the School, Police or from within the Local Authority Education Welfare Service in relation to unauthorised non-attendance at school. If a reason for absence is provided by the parent/carer then it is up to the head-teacher to decide if they accept it and mark it appropriately. There is no limit to the number of formal warnings which can be issued
If a notice has been requested the parent/carer will receive a warning letter that gives them 15 days to provide evidence to the Local Authority that the unauthorised absences are justified and that the register should be amended. If the unauthorised absences are due to taking a holiday in school time then a warning will not be issued.
If the school attendance does not improve then the penalty notice will be issued. Payment of £60 will be due in the first instance which may rise to £120 if not paid promptly. If the penalty is not paid then the Local Authority (LA) will consider issuing prosecution proceedings against parent(s) for the original offence, which is ‘failure to ensure regular attendance at school of the registered pupil’ under Section 444 (1) or (1A) of the Education Act 1996.
Please remember that if there are reasons why your child is missing school then you can seek support and guidance from staff at your child’s school. Ask before the non-attendance becomes an issue.