School attendance parental responsibility measures statutory guidance

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Mountjoy School is committed to providing a full and efficient education to all students and embraces the concept of equal opportunities for all.

We will provide an environment where all students feel valued and welcome.
For a child to reach their full educational achievement a high level of school attendance is essential. We will consistently work towards a goal of 100% attendance for all students. Every opportunity will be used to convey to students and their parents or careers the importance of regular and punctual attendance.

School attendance is subject to various education laws and this school attendance policy is written to reflect these laws and the guidance produced by the Department for Education.

Promoting attendance

The foundation for good attendance is a strong partnership between the school, parents and the pupil, where all parties value education to enable success in later life.

Leave of absence in term time

It is school policy, in line with statutory guidance in the Education (Pupil Registration) England amendment Regulations 2015, that leave of absence during term time will not be granted unless there are exceptional circumstances. Parents will be reminded of the effect that absence can have on a student’s potential achievement. If the absence is for exceptional circumstances; parents must apply in advance for permission for their child to have leave of absence.

School Procedures

Any student who is absent from school at the morning or afternoon registration period must have their absence. Only the Headteacher or a member of staff acting on their behalf can authorise absence. The coding for any absences will be in accordance with the guidance provided by the Department of Education.


The registers are taken by tutors in the morning and in the afternoon. These are taken electronically and recorded on SIMS.

First Day Absence

Parents are asked to call on each day of absence, unless signed off for a specific period by a doctor.

Ten Days Absence

A report will be sent to the Local Authority in respect of any pupil who is absent without an explanation for ten consecutive days will be notified to the Local Authority. (This is a legal requirement). The school report will include details of the action that they have taken.

School Attendance and the Law

Under the 1996 Education Act, parents and carers are responsible for ensuring their children attend school regularly and punctually. Failure to do so could result in legal action being taken against them by the Local Authority.

The register is a legal document and schools must, under the Education (Pupil Registration)

Regulations 2006 take a register at the start of the morning session, and again during the afternoon session. Since September 2006, schools have been required to use statutory registration codes (see appendix A).

Under the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006, only the school (and not parents/carers) can authorise an absence. Where the reason for a pupil’s absence cannot be established at the time the register is taken, that absence shall be recorded as unauthorised. If a reason for absence is provided by the parent/carer, the school may decide to grant leave of absence which must be recorded as authorised using the appropriate national code.

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2013 have removed all references to family holidays and leave of absence shall not be granted unless an application had been made in advance and the head teacher considers that leave of absence should be granted due to exceptional circumstances. Head teachers no longer have the discretion to authorise up to ten days of absence. This discretion has been removed by the aforementioned Regulations (2013).

Whilst the head teacher will consider all requests on a case-by-case basis, parents must be aware that requests will normally be refused.

Where a family chooses to take a holiday during term time, the absence will be coded as unauthorised (G code) and a Penalty Notice may be issued to each parent for each child (where 5 or more days of unauthorised absence are recorded as a result).

If leave of absence is taken without the request having been agreed, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. This may result in the Local Authority issuing a Penalty Notice, in accordance with the Local Authority Code of Conduct, where there have been 10 sessions or more of unauthorised absence recorded. If this penalty is not paid the Local Authority may instigate legal proceedings against the parent/carer in the Magistrates Court.

In compliance with the Education Act 436A (Chapter 2 Part 6) the school will, after making appropriate checks, report all Children Missing from Education to the Local Authority, Education Welfare Service, who has a duty to investigate the whereabouts of such children and negotiate their prompt return to suitable education.

Attendance is celebrated through certificates for 100% attendance each half term. Letters are sent home to support any pupils whose attendance is below 90%.

Our Family Liaison Officer is always available to support any ongoing issues.

Attendance Policy Pupil March 2023