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Excellent attendance promotes excellent learning and is essential if children are to achieve their full potential.

We know that good school attendance is crucial in allowing children to maximise the educational opportunities available to them and become emotionally resilient, confident and competent adults who are able to realise their full potential and make a positive contribution to their community.

Why is regular attendance important?

Any absence, even one day, affects the pattern of your child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning. Any student's absence disrupts teaching routines so may also affect the learning of others in the same class.

Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is your legal responsibility and allowing absence from school, without good reason may result in prosecution. We fully support the local authority policy on fixed penalties for absence and will refer persistent non-attenders to their enforcement team to start legal proceedings.

Reluctance to attend

School recognise that poor attendance is often a sign that there are more serious issues going on in a child’s life. This may be linked to problems at home and or in school. Parents/carers should make school aware of any difficulties or changes in circumstances that may affect their child’s attendance and or behaviour in school, for example; bereavement, divorce/separation, incidents of domestic abuse. This will help the school identify any additional support that may be required.

Bedlington Academy also recognises that some pupils are more likely to require additional support to keep up good attendance, for example, those pupils with special educational needs, with physical or mental health needs, migrant and refugee pupils, and looked after children.

New regulations for taking holidays in term time

The Department for Education has recently made amendments to the regulations around holidays in term-time.

From 1 September 2013, schools may not grant any leave of absence during term-time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Taking family holidays are not considered to be exceptional circumstances. If the permission to take leave is not granted and the student still goes on holiday, the absence will be unauthorised and school will request a penalty notice be issued by the local authority. The penalty notice will be £60 per child, per parent; this increases to £120 if not paid within 21 days

Absence during term time means that students miss out on valuable learning time. Any request for leave during exam periods will not be authorised as this is the most important time in a child’s education.

If you take your child out of school without the school’s permission this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence which also affects your child’s overall attendance figures for the year and may result in each parent being issued with a fixed penalty fine for each child taken out of school.