Absence Procedure

Reporting Absences – First Day Contact

Please telephone the school on 01621 782070 if your child is not going to be in school or contact the school office in person between 8.30am and 9.30am on the first day of absence. If no-one is available to take your call then please leave a message on our answerphone.  For the safety of your child we cannot accept notification of absence by email.

If we have not been advised of a reason for absence by 9.30am then we will attempt to contact you by telephone or Parentmail text to confirm where your child is. We may contact the police if we have concerns about a child’s failure to turn up at school and have been unable to get in touch with you or other named contacts on your list.

When your child returns to school, please send in a letter confirming the reason for the absence. This enables us to mark the absence as authorised.

The school will consult with the Education Welfare Officer if the above is not adhered to or we have concerns about your child’s attendance.

Term Time Holidays

Schools have a statutory obligation to monitor attendance and to set challenging targets to reduce absence. Our efforts to do so are monitored by the Local Authority and Ofsted. In order to achieve our targets, we are aiming to reduce the number of holidays taken in term time. The Department for Education has carried out studies which show a strong link between attainment and attendance. For your child to achieve their maximum potential they must attend school regularly.

Could I please draw your attention to the school policy regarding requests for leave of absence which is available from the school office or can be downloaded from the Policy section of this website.  We greatly value the positive relationship between parents and the school and we do not want the issue of holidays to create a conflict in this relationship.

Parents do not have a statutory right to 10 days leave of absence per academic year, although many believe this to be the case. The school may consider approving a request for leave only if there are exceptional circumstances as defined within our policy.

The Essex Code of Conduct relating to school absence has been updated and can be accessed on this page on the Essex County Council Website.

Whilst we understand that holidays are cheaper during term time, this cannot be considered as a valid reason for approval; neither can odd days off for long weekends, birthday celebrations, visiting relatives or extending a holiday across the beginning or end of a school term.

Please do not put the school in the position of having to decline approval for a leave of absence, which may lead to a referral to the Education Welfare Service and the issue of a Penalty Notice. We greatly value the success of our pupils and any absence can be detrimental to a child’s learning; it is therefore imperative that avoidable absences like holidays are discouraged.  A Penalty Notice may also be issued if the school believes that holiday has taken but not requested.

All applications for leave of absence must be made half a term prior to the proposed date of absence in order for it to be considered by the Governors Attendance Panel, and we strongly recommend that this is done before any holiday is booked.

Thank you for your support.