From September 2015, a new challenge is now facing each and every school with the reduction of the threshold for persistent absenteeism now set at 10%, reducing from 15% in previous years. This amounts to 19 school days in a year. This is a very tight target and is linked to holidays in term time and indiscriminate days off.
Additionally, the guidance for issuing penalty notices for unauthorized absence has been revised. It now states that:
Penalty Notices can only be issued in cases where a pupil of compulsory school age has been absent from school and the absence has not been authorized.
Where a pupil arrives persistently late.
The minimum level of absence necessary is 10 or more school sessions (5 days) in any 100 day period.
Prosecution under the Education Act should be considered as an alternative where 20 or more sessions of unauthorised absence occur.
It is therefore essential that all requests for ‘leave of absence’ are made well in advance to enable time to check reasons, evidence and previous attendance information. Do not assume that authorisation will be given. School term dates are published well in advance to enable parents to make plans for holidays out of school time. These can be found either on the school website homepage or Cornwall Council website.
This guidance is intended to be used in tackling parentally condoned absence where it is reasonable to expect that a parent can ensure the child’s regular attendance but are not willing to take responsibility for doing so.
Please help us and your child by ensuring that their attendance remains above 95%
Why does every day and every minute count?
Attending school every day gives your child the opportunity to make friends and feel included, increases their confidence and self-esteem, improves their social skills and allows them to achieve their full potential.
Your child’s absence is monitored closely by the school and the Local Authority. When your child’s attendance falls below the national expectation, you will be asked to attend a meeting with the school and the Attendance Welfare Adviser.