At St Mary's we understand that there are times when your child will not be able to attend school and would ask you to contact the office to let us know as soon as possible. We expect parents to support us in ensuring your child is in school and will therefore authorise planned absences only in exceptional circumstances. Due to government legislation we are unable to authorise family holidays unless there is an exceptional reason.
Examples of absences which our school is unlikely to authorise could include:
- sickness of a parent, or other family member
- inadequate clothing for school
- child being used as a carer
- problems with transport
- non-urgent medical treatment
- school refusal or truancy
- days off for birthdays, shopping trips
- family holiday since new regulations came in September 2013.
If your child needs a leave of absence you must ask for permission in advance. The headteacher can only approve the absence if she views them to be exceptional reasons and also decides on the number of days to authorise or unauthorise. You can get a leave of absence form from the downloadable forms section or from the school office.
What to do if you need to report an absence
If your child is sick or is absent for other unforeseen reasons, you must notify the school by telephone on the first day of absence.
You should let the school know:
- the nature of the illness (although you may wish to talk confidentially about this)
- whether your child has seen their GP, or whether an appointment has been made for some other specialist service
- how long you expect your child to be absent from school
- the prognosis for the child’s recovery.
Why is high attendance important to my child's education?
As a parent/carer you want the best for your children.
Having a good education is an important factor in opening up more opportunities in adult life.
Did you know that:
- a child who is absent a day of school per week misses an equivalent of two years of their school life
- 90% of young people with absence rates below 85% fail to achieve five or more good grades of GCSE and around one third achieve no GCSEs at all
- poor examination results limit young people’s options and poor attendance suggests to colleges and employers that these students are unreliable
- 7.5 million school days are missed each year through unauthorised absence.
GCSEs may seem a long way off for you and your child but all absence at any stage leads to gaps in your child’s learning.
This in turn can:
- mean that they fall behind in work
- affect their motivation
- affect their enjoyment of learning
- lead to poor behaviour
- affect their desire to attend school regularly
- affect their confidence in school
- mean they miss out on the social life of school and extra curricular opportunities and experiences
- affect their ability to have or keep friendships.