Absence from School in Exceptional Circumstance
You are required under the Education Act (1996) to ensure your child attends school regularly. There is, however, a discretionary power held by Headteachers to authorise absence in exceptional circumstances. Please note this is not an entitlement. The Headteacher will only authorise absence in line with the East Riding Behaviour & Attendance Partnership ‘Absence From School For Exceptional Circumstances Policy’. Headteachers will not authorise absences if they believe it is to the detriment of a child’s education.
There is no longer a provision in law for Headteachers to authorise an absence for the purpose of a term time holiday.
If your request is authorised, you are required to ensure your child catches up on any missed school work. This is your responsibility and school are not obliged to provide work for your child to complete.
Any unauthorised absence will be recorded on your child’s attendance records. This may result in legal proceedings against you, either through a Penalty Notice or the Magistrates’ Court.
ALL absence requests must be made in advance using the Absence from School for Exceptional Circumstances Request Form. Please contact the school office for a copy of this form. Authorisation cannot be given retrospectively so forms must be complete in advance.
Under the Anti Social Behaviour Act (2003) the local authority and schools have statutory powers to tackle poor school attendance and/or unauthorised absences. An unauthorised absence is any absence that the Headteacher has not given permission for or where an explanation has not been provided by the parent.
Penalty Notices will be used as a deterrent to prevent a pattern of unauthorised absences developing. They will be issued by post direct to the home of a parent after possibly just one warning, or in the case of absences without acceptable cause, warnings may not be given. This includes pupils caught on truancy sweeps, persistent late arrival after the close of registration or unauthorised absence that has not been authorised as an absence from school for exceptional circumstances. In these cases the warning is given on the absence request form and detailed within this information leaflet.
If your request is declined and you still take your child out of school each parent within your household will be issued with a £60 penalty notice for each child you have taken out of school. If a penalty notice remains unpaid after 21 days it will increase to £120. If after 28 days it remains unpaid you may be summonsed to appear before Magistrates to explain why your child has unauthorised school absences and you may be liable for a fine of up to £1000.
If you believe at any stage that your child’s absence from school may leave you liable for prosecution or a penalty notice, it is important you take action without delay to secure their regular attendance.
Support and guidance on attendance is always available and if you have any questions about this, or if you need help to achieve an improvement, then please contact your child’s school to discuss this.