Introduction of Fixed Penalty Notices – Every School Day Counts
I am writing to advise you that, with effect from 5th January 2015, we will be implementing the use of Fixed Penalty Notices for unauthorised absences from school where such absence meets the criteria. This will bring us in-line with the other schools in the area who have already introduced them as a result of the amendments to the government’s attendance regulations which took effect from September 2013. Headteachers may no longer grant any leave of absence during term time for holidays. Any holidays taken during term time will be unauthorised and subject to a penalty notice issued by the Local Authority. From April 2005, Kent Local Authority introduced penalty notices for any unauthorised absence from school of at least 10 sessions (5 days) in a current term. Payment of a Penalty Notice within 28 days is £120 reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice. Non–payment of a Penalty Notice may result in prosecution. The criteria for issuing Fixed Penalty notices is contained within our School Attendance Policy and the Local Authority Attendance Code of Conduct, both of which can be found on the school website.
Research has demonstrated how there are strong links between regular attendance at school and academic achievement; the more a pupil attends the more they can achieve. If your child has a number of odd day’s absence from school over a period of time, these days cannot be recovered, the learning is missed and your child will be in danger of falling behind and not achieving their full potential. Our target attendance for every pupil would be 95% or above. Even when a pupil has 90% attendance; which sounds high, in real terms this means your child has missed 19 days over the year, the equivalent of four weeks of learning!
I believe it is important for us to work in partnership with you to ensure that good attendance is maintained throughout the school year. Therefore, let me remind you that it is essential that you support us by:-
Ensuring that your child/children attend regularly and arrive punctually. Informing the school on the first day of absence on 01227 372245. Some indication should be given of the likely length of the absence as well as the reason why. It is your responsibility to advise us of your child’s absence and without a reason we cannot authorise the absence (10 sessions of unauthorised absence may result in a Fixed Penalty Notice). Keeping in regular contact during any period of absence. Not arranging a family holiday during term time.
The school monitors all pupil’s attendance, late arrivals and we will send letters to inform parents of children whose attendance has fallen below 95%.
Thank you for your support in helping us to help your child achieve their full potential.