Section 30 of the 1980 Education Act lays a duty on every parent of a child of ‘school age’ to ensure that their child attends school regularly. Attendance must be recorded twice a day, morning and afternoon.
Regulation 7 of the Education (School and Placing Information) (Scotland) Amendment, Etc. Regulations 1993 requires each child’s absence from school to be recorded in the school register in four different ways:
- as authorised: i.e. approved by the authority and this includes sickness, religious observance and bereavement
- as extended leave with parental consent i.e. when the family moves abroad for a short time
- as unauthorised: i.e. unexplained by the parent (truancy) or most family holidays during term time
- as temporarily excluded from school
Every effort should be made to avoid family holidays during term time as this both disrupts your child’s education and reduces learning time.
We would remind parents/carers of Health Protection Scotland’s guidance on the following:
- Children with diarrhoea and/or vomiting should be excluded until they have no symptoms for 48 hours following their last episode
- Children with unexplained rashes should be considered infectious until assessed by a doctor
If you have a question about the categorisation of attendance or absence please contact the school.
Reporting an absence
It would be most helpful if parents would inform the school before 9.30 am if their child is likely to be absent from school. If no phone call has been received, a member of the office staff will contact you if your child is absent. These procedures were introduced to ensure parents can be confident about safe arrival of pupils at school.
Parents may request that their children be granted absence from school to make an extended visit to relatives abroad. Only written requests detailing destination and the duration of the visit will be granted and the pupil noted as an authorised absentee in the register. However, with no explanation from the parents / guardians, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.
The School Attendance Officer may investigate unexplained absences, and the Education Authority has the power to write to, interview, or prosecute parents, or to refer pupils to the Reporter to the Children’s Panel, if necessary.
In Our Lady of the Missions, we put a great deal of emphasis on attendance at school. The school monitors closely the attendance of all pupils and informs parents when concerns emerge.