Regular attendance at school promotes pupils’ well-being, maximises progress in learning and helps pupils reach their potential. The attendance pattern for all children is monitored weekly with the school seeking to work actively with parents to ensure a regular pattern is maintained. One of our basic principles is to celebrate success. Good attendance is fundamental to a successful and fulfilling school experience. It is our duty to promote 100% attendance for all children. For our children to take full advantage of the educational opportunities offered it is vital that our pupils are at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.
All children have the right to an education and we have put in place appropriate procedures to support this. We believe that the most important factor in promoting good attendance is development of positive attitudes towards school and learning.
Good attendance is important because:
The Governing Body and Head teacher, in partnership with parents have a duty to promote full attendance at school.
For term-time pupil absences, the Education (pupil registration) (England) (amendment) Regulations 2013, which came into force on 1 September 2013, removed all references to ‘family holidays’ and ‘extended leave’ as well as the ‘notional threshold of 10 school days’ authorised absence.
The 2013 amendments made it clear that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless ‘exceptional circumstances’ prevail. The regulations also state that head teachers should determine the number of school days a pupil can be away from school in the event that leave is granted for ‘exceptional circumstances’.
This information seeks to help clarify the meaning of ‘exceptional circumstances’ and outline some guiding principles to aid the head teacher’s decision-making process while offering parents a consistent and fair approach to requests for any term-time absence.
The fundamental principles for defining ‘exceptional circumstances’ are that they are ‘rare, significant, unavoidable and short’.
Term times are for education. This is the priority. Children and families have 175 days off school to spend time together, including weekends and school holidays. The head teacher will rightly prioritise attendance. The default school policy is that absences will not be granted during term time and will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances.
The decision to authorise a pupil’s absence is wholly at the head teacher’s discretion based on their assessment and merits of each request.
If an event can be reasonably scheduled outside of term time then it would not be normal to authorise absence for such an event, for example:
Absences to visit seriously-ill relatives or for a bereavement of a close family member are usually considered to amount to ‘exceptional circumstances’, but for the funeral service and travelling time only, not for extended leave. Absence will only be authorised if the head teacher is satisfied that the circumstances are truly exceptional.
Absences to attend a wedding may be exceptional if the head teacher is satisfied that there is a persuasive reason for holding the wedding during term time and there will be an onus on parents to show clear evidence that this absence is absolutely an exceptional circumstance. In difficult family situations the head teacher may use his discretion in granting leave and each case should be addressed on its individual merits, taking into account the overall welfare of the child.
Absences for important religious observances are often taken into account, but only for the ceremony and travelling time, again, not for extended leave. This is intended for one-off situations rather than regular or recurring events.
The needs of the families of service personnel will be taken into account if they are returning from long operational tours that prevent contact during scheduled holiday time.
Reasonable adjustments for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities will be made and may result in a leave being grated as an exceptional circumstance.
Families may need time together to recover from a trauma or crisis, including where an absence from school is recommended by a health professional as part of a parent or child’s rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issue.
When making absence-related decisions, the head teacher will consider:
The head teacher can determine the length of the authorised absence as well as whether a particular absence is authorised.
The following factors may also help the head teacher to reach a decision:
No learning at all!
½ a day
Almost 4 weeks
Over 4 terms
Over 7 weeks
1 school year and 2 terms
1 ½ days
More than 2 years
Over 15 weeks
2 years and 4 terms
2 ½ days
Almost 20 weeks
3 ½ years
If you require paper copies of any information from the website please contact the school office.
To contact us please telephone the school office on 0117 353 4760 between 8:00 - 16:30 or send us an email.
SENCO and Inclusion Lead - Liz Radnor
Chair of the Academy Council - Anthony Couzens
Diocese of Bristol Academies Trust Company Number 8156759
Kingfisher CE Academy, Peglars Way, Swindon, SN1 7DA
Sorry there is no parking at school on Windmill Close. Please park safely on local roads; Whitehouse Street and other near by roads are for permit holders only.
Parking around Victoria Park is best; it is only a quick walk through the park to the front of school.
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