Attendance and Absence
Offord Primary School is committed to full attendance by all pupils. There is clear evidence of the link between attendance and achievement.
However, we understand there are occasions when your child will be unable to attend. To report a child's absence please contact the School on 01480 810308 before 8.45am, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call into the school office in person by 8.45am. Please contact us on each day of absence. If your child has suffered sickness or diarrhoea please keep them off school for 48 hours after the last occurrence.
It is the School’s policy to ring parents to ascertain why a child/children are not at school as soon as we are aware of the absence if we have not been informed. Please do speak to your child's Class Teacher or the Headteacher if there are any issues you feel the school should be aware of.
Department for Education guidance is clear that schools are only allowed to authorise any planned term-time absence in extremely exceptional circumstances, for example a single day for a funeral of a close relative or a medical appointment. Term-time holidays do not qualify.
If you do plan to take your child out of school for a pre-organised event then please complete a leave of absence request form (copies also available at reception)and make an appointment to speak to the Headteacher. Any decision about taking action as a result of non-attendance is made by the Local Authority Education Welfare Officer (EWO), as made clear by this extract from the FAQ section of the latest guidance:
Can a school fine a parent for taking their child on holiday during term time?
Yes. Parents have a legal duty to make sure that their child aged 5-16, if registered at a school, attends that school regularly. If taking an unauthorised term time holiday is grounds for issuing a penalty notice according to the local authority’s code, and if the leave of absence for holiday was not authorised by the school, either the school or the local authority may issue a penalty notice.
Can schools decide whether parents should be prosecuted or not?
No. Only local authorities can make decisions on whether parents should be prosecuted for school attendance offences. All schools (including academies) have a duty to refer regular absence (authorised and unauthorised) to the relevant local authority. This may include any evidence to show how they supported the pupil and parent to improve attendance. It is for each local authority to judge each referral on its own merits and make a decision on the next probable cause of action
The Education Welfare Officer
The Cam Academy Trust employs an Education Welfare Officer, Kerry Puttock. The school and EWO always try to work with pupils and parents at an early stage to resolve problems. This is nearly always successful. However, the EWO also has a legal role and if other ways of resolving attendance have failed, these officers can use legal sanctions such as Penalty Notices or prosecutions in the Magistrates court. Kerry can be contacted via the school reception.
Our target is for all Offord Primary School pupils to have an attendance rate of 97% or above.
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