Please be reminded that school attendance will be mandatory from the beginning of the new academic year. 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 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 may be unable to attend school in line with public health advice because they:
• are self-isolating
• have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves
• are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19)
Shielding advice for all adults and children was paused from 1 August. This means that children can return to school if they:
• are on the shielded patient list
• have family members who are shielding
See the guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable for the current advice.
Children under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school or college. This should usually be at their next planned clinical appointment.
If children are not able to attend school because they are following clinical and/or public health advice, the school will need to liaise carefully with the appropriate medical professional making this decision and you will not be penalised.