Absences from School
Absence from school, other than that caused by illness, can only be granted under exceptional circumstances. Unless a parent has contacted the office, it is the policy of the school to telephone parents on the first morning of a child’s absence and for the Family Worker to make a home visit if contact cannot be made.
Legislation clearly distinguishes between authorised and unauthorised absence. Other than illness the only forms of absence considered as "authorised" are:
The Government has amended the recording of unauthorised absences further. An absence must be recorded as unauthorised if the school does not accept the reason as satisfactory. Examples, as defined by the Government, which fall into this category, are days off for ‘shopping’, day-trips or extended holidays in term time.
In exceptional circumstances a school is allowed to record a discretionary authorised absence. This must be discussed with the Headteacher, prior to any absence, if discretionary authorisation is to be given. Governors have decided that permission will not be granted to any child in year 6, as this is exam year.
All absences not recorded as authorised have to be recorded as "unauthorised". The number of unauthorised absences for each child will be noted in their records. An Educational Welfare Officer regularly monitors patterns of school attendance. Parents will be fined once their child has 8 unauthorised sessions (4 days).
In the last academic year Foxdell Junior School had an average attendance rate of 96.6% and no truancy. A small number of pupils were recorded as having had "unauthorised absences" mainly as a result of parent authorised absences which had not been notified in advance.