Ampfield CofE Primary School

Faith In Learning

Head of School: Catherine McElhinney

Leave of Absence

Absence during term time

High attendance equals high performance and time missed has been shown to have a negative effect on their ability to gain good grades at the end of secondary school. This seems a long way off for a child in a primary setting but we take attendance seriously and have an ambition that children attend school every day, whenever possible.

Parents/carers must comply with Section 444 of the Education Act 1996 that states that:

  • “(1) If a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, his parent is guilty of an offence.”
  • “(1A) If in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (1) the parent knows that his child is failing to attend regularly at the school and fails without reasonable justification to cause him to do so, he is guilty of an offence.”

Of course, we all fall ill from time to time and are unable to go to school or work. Sometimes, accidents happen and the resulting injuries keep us out of action for a while. We may also have hospital appointments that are not possible to rearrange. Absence for these kinds of reasons are recorded as 'authorised absence'.

Occasionally, events happen in our lives which are unfortunate, distressing or unexpected. We have the ability to record these absences as 'authorised' where appropriate.

Other absence (refusal to come in, staying off school without good reason, being very late etc) can be recorded as 'unauthorised absence'. At ten sessions of 'unauthorised absence' we will, in most cases, pursue a Penalty Notice.

Taking family holiday during term time is a different kind of absence. It is something that is usually planned and prepared for in advance and we have to make a decision whether or not the request for this time off school is in 'exceptional circumstances'. If not, the absence will not be authorised and at 10 sessions of 'unauthorised absence' a Penalty Notice is issued, per parent, per child. All applications for absence during term time are considered on an individual basis by the Executive Headteacher, who may also consult other headteacher colleagues (with anonymised information), to ensure that decisions are fair and appropriate.

The expectation is that children are in school, on time, every day unless there are very good reasons for them not to be.


Click here for a copy of the Leave of Absence form*

*You will need a program installed on your computer to view the file, which is in PDF format - if you do not have one installed already, click here to download one.