‘Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential is an assumption so widely understood that it is insufficiently stated – pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.’ (Department for Education, 2017)
Student absence request
The school can only grant leave of absence during term time for exceptional circumstances. Any request for leave must be made in writing for the attention of the Headteacher in advance. Bedminster Down School follows the Local Authority’s guidelines to address attendance which may include the use of statutory powers which involves the use of Penalty Notices and Court prosecution.
Parents wishing the school to consider granting leave of absence in school term time should read these notes carefully and then complete the Absence Request Form. This form should be sent to the school in time for the request to be considered well before the desired period of absence. Parents are strongly advised not to finalise any arrangements before receiving the school’s decision on their request. In any event the request form must be received by the school at least two weeks before the departure date to allow sufficient time for appropriate consideration.
The granting of leave of absence in school term time is, by law, a matter for consideration and decision by the school. There is no automatic right to any leave in term time. The Department for Education (DfE) and our policy is that family holidays should not be taken in school term time. Where such requests are made, for the leave to be granted, the Headteacher will decide if there are exceptional circumstances.
Each case will be considered individually and on its own merits. Parents need, therefore, to consider very carefully before making any request for leave of absence the demands of the National and wider School Curriculum especially around examination stages. In considering a request, the school will take account of:
- The exceptional circumstances stated that have given rise to the request;
- The age of the child;
- The stage of the child’s education and progress and the effects of the requested absence on both elements;
- The overall attendance pattern of the child;
- The nature of the trip;
- Students on examination courses will not normally be granted leave of absence.