Reducing absence from school is a key priority both nationally and locally. In Suffolk, we appreciate that the majority of parents ensure that their children attend school regularly.
Suffolk County Council is committed to providing all children with the best start in life and works hard to improve the attendance of a small but significant minority.
Margaret Smith Lead Attendance Officer Suffolk C.C.
As there is a clear link between attendance and achievement The Head teacher will very carefully consider requests for absence, on an individual basis, before permission is granted.
Permission may be granted in advance in the following circumstances:
• A student is to participate in an approved performance or sporting activity for which a license has been granted by the Local Authority.
• A student is involved in an exceptional occasion – in authorising such an absence the individual circumstances of the particular case and the student's overall pattern of attendance may be considered.
• In exceptional circumstances, permission may be granted for a family
holiday. Time off school for family holidays is not a right and applications must be made in advance. Exceptional circumstances permitted at Rendlesham are:
service personnel and other employees who are prevented from taking holidays outside term-time;
when a family needs to spend time together to support each other during or after a serious crisis or other exceptional circumstances;
parents who are subject to a strict and un-negotiable holiday rota and evidence is provided to this effect.
• In our policy we make clear the requests that cannot be authorised; for holidays the following reasons are not acceptable:
cheaper cost of holiday;
availability of the desired accommodation;
poor weather experienced in school holiday periods;
an overlap with beginning or end of term.
Any parent/carer wishing to request leave of absence should complete and return the Absence Request Form, obtainable from the school office, and return to the Headteacher before the period of absence and at least 6 weeks before any holiday dates. Only the school (on behalf of the Governing Body) can grant leave of absence.
If the request is authorised by the Headteacher an authorised absence will be recorded in the register. If your child is kept out of school without authorisation, an unauthorised absence will be recorded in the register. Parents need to be aware that the Local Authority has introduced penalty fines for any unauthorised absence, which could lead to a fine of £60 per parent/carer, per child.