Absence, Authorised or Unauthorised
Authorised and Unauthorised Absence. What is the difference?
Every school, by law, has to register pupils twice a day; first thing in the morning at the start of the school day, and again in the afternoon session. If a pupil fails to attend or arrives late they can be marked as an absence for that session.
If a pupil of compulsory school age is absent, the register must show whether the absence was authorised (acceptable) or unauthorised (where no acceptable reason is given for absence). Only the school can approve the reason for absence.
Where a pupil is absent due to sickness and is genuinely unable to attend school, then the school, after being informed, may authorise a child's absence.
It is important that you phone the school or come into the office if your child is going to be absent at the start of the day. You will receive a phone call from the office if you do not inform us as it is our duty to ensure your child is safe. If we cannot make contact with you then you may receive a home visit from a member of staff.
In law, only the Headteacher can authorise a pupil's absence and may require additional evidence such as a letter from your GP or other medical proof particularly if your child’s attendance is already a concern and below 95%.
The law states that parents or carers must ensure that their child regularly attends the school where they are registered. Should your child fail to attend school regularly legal action may be taken against you.
It is a parent's legal responsibility to ensure that their child, when of statutory school age, accesses education appropriate to age, needs and ability.
Under the terms of the education related provisions of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act, each parent/carer(s) may be issued with a Penalty Notice if:
You fail to ensure that your child attends school regularly
You allow your child to take leave of absence in term time without a school’s authorisation
You fail to return your child to school on an agreed date after a leave of absence
Your child persistently arrives late for school after the register is closed
Examples of unauthorised Absence may be if your child does not attend because of:
Going on holiday or travelling abroad
Days off for birthdays, shopping trips
Non urgent appointment
Parent unwell to bring them to school
As the Headteacher, I will only grant a leave of absence for exceptional circumstances. A holiday or travelling abroad is not exceptional.
There are 38 weeks in the year when school is open and 14 weeks (175 DAYS) when families can visit family overseas; go on holiday; travel or attend non urgent medical appointments. So before you ask for leave of absence please consider… Is your request for leave of absence exceptional?