April 2021

 

Dear Parents/Carers

 

School Attendance and Requests for Holidays

 

Firstly, can I thank you for your support in continuing to send your children to school during this difficult time.   Our whole school attendance is currently 95% and it is good to see the students back in school and engaging well in their learning.

 

As the country starts to open up again and lockdown restrictions start to be lifted, I feel it is important to make you aware where we stand as a school in relation to applications for holidays in term times.

 

Whilst I appreciate that you may have had to postpone holidays that had been booked in the last year and we are looking forward to rebooking these holidays, our stance on holidays in term time still remains the same, that an absence from school will only be authorised in ‘exceptional circumstances’.    This will be at the Head teacher’s discretion.

 

The law states

If your child is absent from school without authorisation, you will be committing an offence under the Education Act 1996.  We may submit a request to Cornwall Council for a Penalty Notice to be issued, in accordance with Sections 444A and 444B of the said Act.  Penalty Notices are issued per liable parent, per child and each carry a fine of £60 if paid within 21 days or £120 if paid after this but within 28 days. Failure to pay the Penalty Notice may result in legal action.  Absence not authorised by the school may result in prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court under Section 444(1) or Section 444(1A) of the Education Act 1996, leading to a fine of up to £2,500 and/or a custodial sentence.  Cornwall Council may also apply for the costs incurred in taking the matter to court.

 

‘Parent’ as set out in Section 576 of the Education Act 1996, defines parent to include: natural parents, whether they are married or not; any person or body who has parental responsibility for a child (as defined by the Children Act 1989) and; any person who, although not a natural parent, has care of a child.  Having care of a child means a person with whom a child lives and who looks after a child, irrespective of what their relationship is with said child.

 

The Government does not support parents taking children out of school if such ‘exceptional circumstances’ are not met, and this includes leave of absence for holidays.  If you decide to take your child out of school, without permission, you will be committing an offence under the Education Act 1996.  For further details see our Attendance Policy on the school website.

 

All requests for absence should be made formally to the Headteacher at least two weeks in advance using the Request for Absence Form.  It is important that you provide the school with full details of the reason for requesting the absence (holiday) within term time, and how the request has been affected by COVID-19.   We may request evidence if you advise that leave has been cancelled or blocked within school holidays due to being employed as a front line worker, which has resulted in the request for absence in term time when you would ordinarily have booked a holiday outside of term time.  If you are unable to provide this evidence, the request may be refused. Holidays that are rebooked within term time that was the subject of an original termtime booking will not be considered as an exceptional circumstance

Brannel School is committed to maximising the education of all its students and aims to work with parents to ensure we remain a school where everyone succeeds.  If you have any queries or concerns, please contact the schools Educational Welfare Officer, Mrs Caroline Hunt.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Yours sincerely

Mr C Liles

Head teacher