Attendance

ATTENDANCE AT SCHOOL

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 as authorised as defined by the Scottish Government.

At the start of each school session, parents will be asked to provide contact details including at least one emergency contact number.  Parents are required to inform the school if these contact details change during the course of the year.

Parents and carers are asked to inform the school if a pupil is unable to attend from the start of the school day on the first day of absence.

Failure to do so will result in school staff accessing all contact numbers provided for the child.  In terms of child safety police will be contacted if all attempts to locate the child have been exhausted.

Parents should be asked to inform the school by letter or telephone if their child is likely to be absent for some time, and to give the child a note on his or her return to school confirming the reason for absence.

Every effort should be made to avoid family holidays during term time as this both disrupts the child’s education and reduces learning time.

Parents/guardians should inform the school by letter, of the dates before going on holiday.  Absences will be classified as authorised only in exceptional circumstances.

 

Such circumstances may include:

A family holiday judged to be important to the wellbeing and cohesion of the family, following serious or terminal illness, bereavement or other traumatic events.

 

A family holiday classified under the ‘authorised absence’ category will not include such reasons as:

The availability of cheap holidays

The availability of desired accommodation

Poor weather experience during school holidays

Holidays which overlap the beginning or end of term

Parental difficulty obtaining leave (except in cases where evidence is provided by the employer that it cannot accommodate leave during school holidays without serious consequences.)

Family holidays with the above similar characteristics will be classified as unauthorised absence.  Where the head teacher’s prior agreement has not been sought the absence will automatically be classed as unauthorised.

Where most family holidays will be recorded as unauthorised absence (see above) extended leave with parental consent will not be considered the same as a family holiday.  Leave in such circumstances will be authorised under circumstances such as:

Extended overseas educational trips not organised by the school

Short-term parental placement abroad
Family returning to its country of origin (to care for a relative, or for cultural reasons
Leave in relation to the children of travelling families.

 

Parents may request permission for such leave in writing and the school may authorise such requests under the following circumstances:

The period immediately after an accident or illness

A period of serious or critical illness of a close relative
A domestic crisis which causes serious disruption to the family homes, causing temporary relocation.

Should the school at any time be concerned about a child’s attendance at school a letter will be sent to the parents to advise them of this concern and to invite them to the school to discuss the situation.  Persistent, unauthorised absences will be investigated by the Attendance Officer and the Authority has the power to write to, interview or even to prosecute parents or to refer pupils to the Reporter of the children’s hearings, if necessary.

Should the school at any time be concerned about a child’s attendance at school a letter will be sent to the parents to advise them of this concern and to invite them to the school to discuss the situation.

Persistent, unauthorised absences will be investigated by the Attendance Officer and the Authority has the power to write to, interview or even to prosecute parents or to refer pupils to the Reporter of the children’s hearings, if necessary.

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