Why is attendance important?
All children of school age have the right to a full-time education, regardless of age, aptitude, ability or any special need they may have. Regular academy attendance is essential if a child is to make the most of the educational opportunity available to them. Ark Castledown Primary Academy takes the responsibility to monitor and promote the regular attendance of all its pupils very seriously. It acknowledges that irregular attendance can disrupt continuity of learning, undermines educational progress, can lead to underachievement/low attainment and impedes the child’s ability to develop friendship groups within the academy.
If an absence is unavoidable then a family adult should telephone the Academy on the first day of the absence and every day thereafter.
Absences can be reported directly to a member of the office team or by leaving a message on the absence line.
You can also contact us by emailing email@example.com. Please remember to give specific details of the illness.
Phone calls should be made before 8.30am on each day of absence. If we have not heard from you by 9.30am, we will contact you directly.
When a student returns we require a short written note outlining the reason for the absence for our records and a doctor’s certificate if the absence has been longer than five days.
The academy is under a legal obligation to report any unauthorised or persistent absences to ESBAS (The Local Authority Education Support, Behaviour and Attendance Service), who will then contact the family to discuss the reasons for the absences.
If your child is likely to be absent from school due to illness for a long period of time, please contact us. We will be happy to discuss any support needed to ensure your child can keep up to date with what is taking place in school.
Request for leave of absence during term time
The Department for Education has amended the regulations and guidance in relation to absences in term-time. There is no automatic right to take your child out of school during term time. From 1st September 2013, the Department for Education will only allow a head teacher to grant a leave of absence if there are exceptional circumstances. In determining whether or not an absence in such circumstances can be authorised, it is for the head teacher to determine the number of days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.
If you consider that your request falls into this category you will need to complete the Withdrawal from Learning Application Form. A response will be sent to you as soon as possible. If the absence requested is not considered to be an exceptional circumstance, and you nevertheless take your child out of school, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised in line with County Council guidance.
In the case of an unauthorised absence the Education Support, Behaviour & Attendance Service will be notified and a Penalty Notice will be issued. Please note that Penalty Notices are issued to each parent for each child taken out of school. A Penalty Notice is a fine of £60 which increases to £120 if not paid within the first 21 days. If the Penalty Notice remains unpaid this will result further legal intervention.
All absence requests must be completed on the Withdrawal from Learning Application Form, letters will not be accepted. This should be returned to the school a minimum of 14 days before the start of the absence.
Any absence from school will disrupt your child’s learning. You may consider some absences to be educational but your child will still miss out on the teaching that their classmates will receive. Children returning from an absence are unprepared for the lessons which build on the teaching they have missed. Teachers then need to give more time to help individual children catch up on missed work. This poses a potential risk of the under achievement of other students in the class. This is something we all have a responsibility to avoid.