Absence from school
- The government has issued laws about pupils’ attendance and lateness. The registers are checked regularly by the headteacher, deputy headteacher and the class teachers, and poor attendance is followed up. Each half term we are visited by an educational social worker from the Local Authority. She will review the attendance of all the children and may call a meeting with families where the absence rate is poor or where children have incomplete weeks of schooling. In some cases this can result in a fine and in extreme cases may result in the Local Authority taking a family to court.
- We expect parents to contact the school office by telephone every day that a child is away. Otherwise our school attendance administrator will have to phone to find out where the absent child is and this is extremely time consuming. There is a special line where you can leave messages about attendance and the messages will be picked up regularly.
- Unauthorised absences, such as time off to go shopping or lateness without a good reason, will be recorded on your child’s attendance record.
- Lady Margaret School has an attendance target of 96.1%. Each week the attendance for each class will be published in the newsletter and on the web site. Classes with 100% attendance are given a certificate to display. Children who have 100% attendance for the whole school year will be presented with a book token to celebrate their achievement.
Leave of absence requests
- Pupils of school age must, by law, attend school regularly. Only a parent or carer may request leave of absence during term time. There is no entitlement to leave in term time and parents or carers should not expect leave of absence to be granted as a right.
- Approval is discretionary and will only be given in exceptional circumstances. It is possible in certain circumstances that your child could be removed from the school register and parents would need to reapply to the Local Authority for another school place on their return.
- If parents do wish to claim exceptional circumstances they must complete a leave of absence form which they can get from the school office. The completed form must be returned to the school at least 2 weeks before the date that the period of absence is to start, clearly stating the reasons for taking the child/ren out of school during term time. Parents may be asked to show documentary evidence to support their request.
- It is an offence under section 444 of the education act 1996. “If a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, his parent is guilty of an offence.” If you take your child out of school without authorisation Ealing Council have the power to issue Fixed-Penalty Notices of £60, rising to £120 if not paid within 28 days