Good attendance and punctuality matter.
Our expectations are that students will achieve at least 95% attendance, unless there are exceptional medical circumstances. Even 95% allows for two weeks' absence. It goes without saying that there is a very high correlation between school achievement and good attendance, and we monitor this very closely and ask for you to work in partnership with us in seeing your child make the very best of school life. Please encourage your child to be punctual; it is obviously very good training for future life. Our school gates close for registration at 08:25 and open again at 15:00 when school finishes.
Please note all doctor or dental appointments should be made for after school or in holiday time. School holidays account for 14 weeks of the year and parents are expected to arrange all family holidays during these times.
Application for Unavoidable Student Leave Of Absence During Term-Time (Holiday Or Other) Guidelines
DfE Guidance and the Pupil Registration Regulations (September 2013) state that headteachers may not grant leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. We therefore have a discretionary power to grant a student leave of absence during term time but only in 'exceptional circumstances' . Parents must not assume there is an automatic right.
The DfE's position is that "poor attendance at school can have a hugely damaging effect, and children who attend school regularly are nearly four times more likely to achieve five or more good GCSEs than those who are regularly absent." A child who takes a week's extra holiday each year at school will have missed at least 70 days - or the equivalent of more than three months of teaching - by the end of their time at school.
Our Governing Board aims to minimise the amount of student learning time lost through a policy which actively discourages parents from arranging family holidays or other events during term time and supports the headteacher in authorising absence only in very exceptional circumstances.
Parents should not take their children out of school without first informing the school and seeking authorisation. Parents who do not have the school's permission for their child's absence will have the absence recorded as "unauthorised" absence and could face a maximum fine of £60 per pupil, per parent. We expect this will be a very rare occurrence and only used in cases of repeated or lengthy unauthorised absences, but we can exercise the right to fine if we feel it is appropriate.
A fine can rise up to £120 if not paid within seven days. Those who refuse to pay can face court action and, if prosecuted, a fine of up to £2,500 and a possible jail sentence of up to three months.
Unavoidable or exceptional term time absence requests should be made via the Leave of Absence Form link below. prior to any arrangements being made. The application should be, wherever possible, submitted at least 3 months before the planned absence, and absences cannot be authorised retrospectively.
It will only be in extremely exceptional circumstances that any leave of absence of more than 5 days will be granted.
In the following circumstances leave is highly likely NOT to be authorised:
- The request is for a family holiday.
- The student's attendance over the year is less than 95%.
- There is a school examination during the period of leave.
- There are public examinations or coursework deadlines immediately before, after or during the proposed leave.
- The student has a serious deficit of work to catch-up owing to recent long illnesses or serious underachievement.
- The student is in a year with public examinations.
- The request is for a day or days immediately before or after a school holiday.
In all cases of student absence, it is the responsibility of the student to catch up on any work they miss during an absence.
If your request is not authorised:
- This will be coded as an unauthorised absence on your child's register record.
- The school will not provide work during the period of absence.
- Where family holidays or leave of absence are taken without the permission of the school, parents can be given a Penalty Notice (fine) for periods of unauthorised absence. Please refer to the Penalty Notice - Code of Conduct on Bradford Children's Services webpage for further details: Bradford.gov.uk
Unauthorised absences are shown on reports and ultimately could impact on school references, and potentially hinder employment prospects. For more than 20 days' unauthorised absence at one time the student will be referred to the Education Social Work Service at Bradford Children's Services and can be taken off the school roll.
We appreciate your support in ensuring that absence is minimised and to ensure procedures are followed for requesting any absence.