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Letters Home & Consent Forms

November 2017

 

Dear Parents/Guardians

 

Spotlight on Attendance

 

A very important message for all parents

 

  1.  English Martyrs’ Catholic Primary School is working in partnership with parents to improve school attendance. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the many parents who make sure their children attend school regularly.

 

  1.  It is the legal responsibility of parents to ensure their children receive appropriate education. Failure to send children to school regularly without good reason is a criminal offence.

 

Absence disrupts the education of the individual pupil and the whole class.

 

Children who do not attend regularly -

 

  • do not achieve well in exams

  • find it difficult to maintain friendships

  • are more likely to become involved in crime

  • miss out on opportunities in further education and the world of work

 Absence can only be authorised by the Head Teacher, within the boundaries set by the Education (Pupil Registrations) (England) Regulations 2006.

 

Please remember that the following are not acceptable reasons for children to be absent from school –

 

  • parental illness

  • going shopping

  • visiting family

  • truancy

  • not wanting to go to school

  • alleged bullying (speak to school immediately to resolve the issue)

 

All of these absences will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’, including if your child arrives at school after the close of registration. Leave in term time will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances.

 

Legal action that may be taken includes:

 

  • Issuing penalty notices: Each parent receives a penalty notice for each child who has unauthorised absence. The penalty is £60 or £120 depending on how soon payment is made. So, if there are two parents and two children the total penalties could be up to £480. Failure to pay may result in prosecution.

     

  • Taking parents to court for unauthorised absence: Education Act 1996 Section 444(1) - magistrates can fine each parent up to £1000 per child, add costs and impose Parenting Orders.

     

  • Taking parents to court for persistent unauthorised absence: Education Act 1996 Section 444(1A) - magistrates can fine each parent up to £2,500 per child, impose Parenting Orders and/or impose a period of imprisonment of up to 3 months.

     

    Being taken to court could result in you having a criminal record.

     

    How does your child compare?

Attendance during one school year

equals this number of days absent

which is approximately this many weeks absent

which means this number of lessons missed

90%

19 days

4 weeks

100 lessons

80%

38 days

8 weeks

200 lessons

70%

57 days

11.5 weeks

290 lessons

Frequent absence can add up to a considerable amount of lost learning and can seriously disadvantage your child in adult life.

 

 If your child’s level of absence is of serious concern you will receive another letter advising you about improving attendance. After this, any further unauthorised absence may result in the School and the Local Authority taking legal action.

 

 We will improve attendance by making it clear within the school and local community that unauthorised absence is not acceptable. You will be informed of the number of penalty notices issued, prosecutions and the level of fines.

 

Again, we would like to thank those parents who make sure their children are attending school regularly and are therefore benefiting fully from their educational opportunity.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

E Harper (Mrs)

Head Teacher
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