Attendance

Unauthorised absences

It is the law for parents to ensure that their child attends school regularly. The law has recently provided local authorities with the power to serve parents with a Fixed Penalty Notice if a child has ten or more unauthorised absences (i.e. 5 days) in one term.

All absences are recorded and demonstrate to future employers, universities or colleges that the student has a poor record of attendance and as such show a lack of commitment to education and work.

Holiday requests during school term time

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013, which became law on 1st September 2013, state that the Head of School may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The Head of School should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if leave is granted.

In accordance with the above Regulations, requests for leave of absence are treated sympathetically, but only in exceptional circumstances can they be approved.  The policy of Surrey County Council, to which this school has agreed, states that parents who take their child out of school for five days or more during term time, without the authority of the Head of School, will each be liable to receive a penalty notice. Penalty notices will be issued by the Local Authority.

The penalty is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days of receipt of the notice. If the penalty is not paid in full by the end of the 28-day period the Local Authority must prosecute the recipient for failing to ensure regular school attendance under section 444 Education Act 1996.

Please be aware that each parent is liable to receive a Penalty Notice for each child who incurs unauthorised absences, for example, if there are two parents and one child, each parent will receive one Penalty Notice.

If there are two parents and two children incurring unauthorised absences, each parent will receive two Penalty Notices, which in this case would amount to £120 each if paid within 21 days.

Please refer to our Attendance Policy:

http://www.matthew-arnold.surrey.sch.uk/uploads/document/2_1001_attendance-policy.pdf