At St James’ CE Academy we aim for all of our pupils to arrive on time and attend school every day. We work in partnership with pupils, parents and our Education Welfare Officer to ensure that attendance remains above the national average.

Regular Attendance
Parents have a responsibility to ensure that their children receive full time education. Regular attendance is essential if children are to progress with their learning.

Working together
It is the parent / carer’s legal responsibility to ensure their child/children attend school regularly unless they are ill. The school has a responsibility to do all it can to ensure that this happens.

Please let us know if you are having difficulties getting your child/children to school. We are able to offer support for families.

Term-time holidays

As you know, pupils of school age must, by law, attend school regularly.  If your child is to be away from school you need to put in a written request for leave of absence and for this absence to be approved (authorised), which it will be when there is a good reason.

You cannot yourself authorise a child’s absence.  This school, the Adult, Children and Family Services and many parents are working in partnership to enable children to reach their full potential and this requires regular attendance at school.

The legislation by the Government on school attendance for holidays in term time changed from 1st September 2013.  Schools are not permitted to grant leave of absence for holidays unless there are exceptional circumstances.

It is our school’s policy to refer all cases to the Local Authority for absence from school due to a holiday unless there are exceptional circumstances as to why the holiday had to be taken during term time. Exceptional circumstances include:-

The need to travel away from the area due to a family bereavement

Parents being unable to take holiday during school holidays due to their conditions of employment. In this case, a letter on headed paper from the parent’s employer must be presented to the governing body stating that the parent was unable to take holiday during the school holidays due to their conditions of employment.

  • Families who have a parent in the Forces and other employees who are prevented from taking holidays outside term time.
  • Acute crisis within the family, where the family needs to spend time together to support each other.
  • Other justified exceptional circumstances.

Time off school during statutory test times will not be authorised. It is important that all parents should be aware of the implications that are now in place for taking holidays in term time as this can disrupt your child’s progress and achievements.  Not only do children miss the teaching provided on the days they are away, they are also less prepared for the lessons building on this learning after their return.  Children’s progress can be slowed and there may also be a risk of future underachievement.

If parents chose to take their child out of school for a holiday that is not authorised by the school, the Local Authority (LA) receive our attendance data and it is the LA (not the school) who may then issue a Penalty Notice fine of £60 per parent, per child,  to be paid within 21 days.  If payment is not received the Penalty Notice will increase to £120 to be paid within 28 days.

Any requests for exceptional circumstance absences during term time will be individually considered by the headteacher, and in some circumstances by the governors, before a decision whether or not to authorise the absence is made.