Please be reminded that school attendance has been mandatory since 8th March 2021. It is vital that children return to school, for their educational progress, for their wellbeing, and for their wider development. We have been working really hard to prepare a safe return for all pupils and appreciate the support of parents to help us to achieve this.
At St. Vincent’s we work hard to:
- Ensure every pupil has access to the full-time education to which they are entitled
- Promote good attendance and reduce absence, including persistent absence
- Act early to address patterns of absence
- Support parents to perform their legal duty to ensure their children of compulsory school age attend regularly, and will promote and support punctuality in attending lessons.
Please ensure that any holidays are booked during the school holiday period. Holidays during term time will not be authorised.
Exceptional Leave of Absence
Parents/guardians must ask permission, where the situation is exceptional or urgent, for their child to be absent during term time. Headteachers are only empowered to approve a leave of absence when it is requested in advance by the parent or carer with whom the child resides and when the circumstances of the requested leave are ‘exceptional’. If no application is made or leave is taken without permission and there are no exceptional circumstances, a term time holiday is contrary to s.444(1) of the Education Act 1996 and Fixed Penalty Notice can be issued accordingly. Parents wishing to apply for their child to have leave from school should complete this form and return it to school for authorisation at least two weeks before the proposed leave.
Absence Due to Illness
Parents are asked to please telephone school before 8:50 a.m. to inform us when a child is absent from school due to ill health. If we do not receive a telephone call by 9:00am. the office staff will call to check why your child is not in school. Although we appreciate that children can be poorly, if your child’s attendance falls below 90% we are required to ask parents/ carers for medical evidence to authorise absences due to illness.
Self-isolation and shielding
A small number of children and young people may be unable to attend in line with public health advice to self-isolate. You should not send your child to school or college if they:
- have symptoms or live in a household with someone who has symptoms
- have tested positive themselves, even if they do not have symptoms
- live in a household with someone who has tested positive, even if that person does not have symptoms
- are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19)
- are required to self-isolate for travel-related reasons
We know from growing evidence that many children identified at the start of the pandemic as clinically extremely vulnerable, are not at increased risk of serious outcomes from coronavirus (COVID-19) and children are gradually being removed from the shielding patient list as appropriate, following review with a clinician. If your child is confirmed as clinically extremely vulnerable, they are advised not to attend school or college until further notice. If this is the case please send a copy of the shielding letter to the school and we will arrange a meeting to work together to support your child’s needs.
Children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable should still attend school or college. Information for parents is available from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
If your child is identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and is asked to self-isolate, you do not need to self-isolate unless your child develops symptoms. This also applies to other members of your household (including any other children in the same school or college).
If your child has been a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and then develops symptoms but has a negative test result, they will still need to self-isolate for the full 10 days from the day after contact with the person who tested positive.
If children are not able to attend school because they are following clinical and/or public health advice, as detailed above, the school will liaise carefully with the appropriate medical professional making this decision and you will not be penalised.