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Absence - Not Illness

Parents/carers must ensure that they know the rules about the schools Attendance Policy in respect of authorised absence and unauthorised as this has a huge impact on a pupils' learning if this is not consistent. Every half-day absence from the school has to be classified by the school (not by the parent/carer). This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required and it is a legal requirement.

There are two types of absences:

Authorised Absence - Mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason like illness, medical or dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies or other unavoidable cause. Only the school can authorise an absence. An explanation given by a parent/carer is not always sufficient for the school to authorise an absence .

Unauthorised Absence - absences are those which the school and the governors, following Government guidelines, do not consider reasonable and for which no 'leave' has been given. This type of absence can lead to the Local Authority using sanctions and/or legal proceedings including penalty notices and fines. It includes:

  • Parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily e.g. because they had a late night or for non infectious illness or injury that would not affect their ability to learn;
  • absences which have never been properly explained;
  • children who arrive at school after register close;
  • shopping trips;
  • looking after other children or children accompanying siblings or parents to medical appointments;
  • their own or family birthdays;
  • holidays in term time.

This list is not exhaustive and the Head Teacher cannot 'authorise' any absences which are deemed to be contrary to the school policy.