At St. Joseph’s we value good attendance highly. Attendance is both a school and an individual issue and where it isn’t good the children are at risk of underachieving. Good work habits for life are established through the daily routine of going to school as well as all the social and personal benefits of feeling like they are part of a team and being involved in all aspects of school life every day.
As such we recognise, reward and celebrate good attendance in lots of ways— celebrating those who achieve 100% termly and over the full course of the year, joining in local attendance competitions, celebrating children and families who improve their attendance. Good attendance is an expectation at St Joseph’s and the children understand its importance.
I think it is important to clarify and refresh the school’s position regarding attendance at the beginning of this year to avoid confusion. I have reproduced the content of a letter sent out by the authority in September 2013 to all parents that outlines the school’s position regarding authorising absence.
From 1 September 2013, schools are no longer allowed to authorise any requests for children to be taken out of school for a holiday during term time. Requests for leave can only be granted in exceptional circumstances, and a holiday would not be considered exceptional. Requests for leave must also be made to the school in advance, as the DfE have told schools that they cannot authorise any absences after they have been taken. Parents may receive a penalty notice if their child is absent from school without permission. From September 2013 the cost of these notices will be £60 per child per parent if paid within 21 days, and £120 if paid between 22 and 28 days. We appreciate the challenges that some parents face when booking holidays, particularly during the school holidays. However, regular attendance at school is vital in helping children and young people to achieve their full potential and get the best possible start in life.
If you need to take your child out of school in term time you must request permission first, using the form available from the school office or the website. Holidays and visiting relatives are not considered exceptional circumstances. If your request is denied and your child is absent, their absence will be unauthorised and you may receive a fine. The school’s attendance policy is available on our website.