As with all aspects of a child’s life, it is the parents/carers who have the pivotal role in ensuring their child’s best interests are taken into consideration at all times. The law in relation to the regular attendance of a child at school is strict in the application of this responsibility. At Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust we want to support our parents in carrying out this responsibility but at the same time we will tender challenges where a child’s level of attendance falls behind expectations. To this end, the policy is robust in its early identification of attendance concerns and structured to ensure the appropriate level of support is put in place.
The policy is relevant to every child on roll at an academy within Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust, between the ages of 3 and 16 years old. The Trust recognises that a child’s learning journey starts at the very beginning of their Early Years education, this being an important time for parents to embed good habits of attendance with their child, which will follow them through their school life. The parent is expected to have good routines in place to ensure their child is prepared for school each day and is ready to learn by attending regularly and being in school on time. Once established, we believe the child will easily become accustomed to all school routines and will grow through their education to become an independent learner.
We also recognise that at times difficulties may arise within a family, which can impact upon a child’s learning and school attendance. In such cases, it is important for a pupil or parent to speak to a person within their school, who in confidence, will listen and discuss the best way forward. Each school offers a network of pastoral support. We believe in working closely with the pupils and parents to ensure a child’s education is not interrupted and they can continue to attend school regularly.
Context of the school attendance measures
A parent is responsible for ensuring their child being of compulsory school age receives a suitable full-time education and attends school regularly. This is a legal requirement. A child reaches compulsory school age on or after their fifth birthday. If they turn five between 1 January and 31 March, they are of compulsory school age on 31 March; if they turn five between 1 April and 31 August they are of compulsory school age on 31 August. If they turn five between 1 September and 31 December, they are of compulsory school age on 31st December. A child continues to be of compulsory school age until the last Friday of June in the school year that they reach sixteen.
(School Attendance November 2016)
Leave of absence in term time
Following the successful appeal of the Isle of Wight Council v Platt, whereby the court decided the council had correctly issued a penalty notice to the parent where the child had been absent from school for a holiday, St Oswald’s Catholic Academy Trust has been advised by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council that the criteria for the issue of a penalty notice will revert to the penalty notice code of conduct which had been in abeyance following the initial judgment by the High Court.
This means that the academy will recommend to the local authority the issue of a penalty notice, where either of the criteria is found to exist, namely:
- The holiday is taken at anytime in September.
- For any student whose attendance was below 95%, within the previous 12 calendar months of the holiday being taken.
- At any time during formal external examinations and assessment periods, including preparation time.
- If a holiday warning letter or Penalty Notice has been issued during the previous 12 calendar months, of the holiday being taken.
This will take place with immediate effect.
Any enquiries to be made to Mrs Benson, Attendance & Early Intervention Manager