Student absence and holidays

Students who attend school regularly make good progress.

There is an expectation that over the course of an academic year, a child’s attendance will be 96% or more (the national average). Absence that falls below 90% is categorised by the government as persistent absence.

Criteria for Persistent Absence

90% attendance means that a child has been absent for the following number of sessions:
Half Term 1 7 or more sessions
Half Term 1 & 2 14 or more sessions
Half Term 1-3 20 or more sessions
Half Term 1-4 25 or more sessions
Half Term 1-5 31 or more sessions
Half Term 1-6 38 or more sessions

*A session is one half day and will count if a child misses a morning or an afternoon registration.

Leave of Absence

Holidays in term time are no longer permitted by legislation. Any request for ‘leave’ must be made in writing to the Principal. Any request must be received by the Principal no later than 15 working days before the proposed leave is due to take place. Where 15 working days’ notice is not given the request will automatically be recorded as unauthorised absence, save in exceptional circumstances.

The Principal does have a discretionary power to authorise leave but this is not an automatic right. In making an application for leave, the adult(s) with parental responsibility, with whom the child normally resides, must make the case that their child will need to be treated differently from the norm. There will be no exceptions for families who are split e.g. a request from one parent may be approved but another request from a second parent or family member may be unauthorised. It is the responsibility of both parents with parental responsibility to make their applications for leave; each application will be considered fairly using the criteria below. Therefore, each request must meet specific ‘exceptional circumstances’ which would not be expected to be repeated within an academic year, or to occur regularly throughout a child’s school life.

Reasons such as, ‘it’s cheaper’, or ‘fits in with work patterns’ are not classed as exceptional circumstances. The Principal will consider each request on an individual basis and will take the following into consideration:

  • The child’s current and previous year’s attendance.
  • Regularity of requests.
  • The reason for the request to determine whether it meets the exceptional circumstances criteria.
  • Timing of the request i.e. a request for leave during exam weeks would not be approved. Equally a request for the start of the school year is also unlikely to be approved.
  • Leave taken without a formal request being made to the Principal will remain unauthorised even if the parent enters a request on returning from the holiday/leave.