At Marlborough Infant School, we recognise the importance of good attendance in school and how it can impact on a child’s performance overall. Good attendance habits start early in life with an expectation that your child will attend school every day. It is your legal responsibility to ensure that your child attends school every day, and that they are on time. As a true community school, we strongly believe in working with you and others in the best interests of our children and ensure we enable them to have the best life chances.
Why attending school matters
First and foremost, a child not attending school is considered a safeguarding matter. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required. Missing school really does make a difference to your child’s future. Research shows that children who miss school regularly can fall behind with their work and do less well in tests. Aim for 100% school attendance as this may help improve your child’s chances of getting a better job or career in the future.
Appointments during school hours
We ask that all appointments are made out of school hours. However, if your child has an appointment they cannot miss or rearrange, evidence of this appointment will need to be seen by the school office. This could be an appointment card, text message or email confirmation.
Holidays during term time
The DfE guidelines makes it very clear that headteachers cannot authorise any leave of absence, including term time holidays, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Any absence without this agreement will be classed as unauthorised.
Exceptional circumstances are described as unique or one-off events. They might include family emergencies, a sudden change in circumstances or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The headteacher will decide whether each application for leave is 'exceptional' or not based on the circumstances and prior attendance record for your child. In all cases, a 'Leave of Absence' request form must be completed. The following examples are unlikely to be authorised as exceptional;
- sickness of a parent, or other family member
- inadequate clothing for school
- child acting as a carer
- problems with transport
- behaviours or attitudes to school attendance leading to school refusal or truancy
- non-urgent medical treatment or appointments
- days off for birthdays, family events and shopping trips
- family holidays
If you report your child absent due to sickness and it is authorised but later evidence then suggests that the sickness was not genuine, the absence(s) will be made unauthorised.