Education Welfare Changes
The White Horse Federation now has a dedicated Education Welfare Officer.
We would like to welcome Cheryl Croft to our team, she has joined from Swindon Borough Council and holds many years’ experience in working with and supporting children and families to overcome barriers to education.
Cheryl has outlined our expectations in terms of our schools attendance expectations as listed below:
- Children should be in school every day and arrive on time.
- Please ensure that you communicate reasons for absence to school by 8.45am on the morning of each day of absence.
- School attendance that drops below 95% is considered a cause for concern (95% equates to 10 missed days across a whole school year), attendance below that level for this academic year will trigger a new process by which you will receive notification of your child’s attendance- if this does not improve there is a graduated response which could result in legal action.
- To help, please try to make medical appointments (where possible) outside of the school day, take holidays out of school term time and communicate any reasons for absence clearly with school staff.
- In 2016/2017 over 1500 fines were issued to parents across Swindon relating to poor school attendance- we want to work with you to prevent this happening to our parents.
- Excellent attendance at school is important to allow a child to fulﬁl their potential.
Absence From School During Term Time:
As your child is now registered in our school the following information explains your responsibilities for ensuring regular school attendance.
- The law states all children of compulsory school age (5 – 16yrs) must receive regular full time education.
- The Local Authority (LA) and the school will work together to monitor all pupils’ attendance closely, and will investigate if a pupil is regularly missing school. Fines may be issued for low attendance and holidays.
- It is the parents’ legal responsibility to ensure their child attends school every day on time.
- Monday to Thursday 8.45am – 3.15pm (3.30 for KS2)
Friday 8.45am – 1pm
- If you or your child is experiencing problems that prevent regular school attendance it is vital to contact the school as soon as possible.
- School will be happy to help with any issues that might be interfering with your child’s education.
Thank you for your co-operation in this matter.
Legal Background and DfE Guidelines extract…
Whilst schools are required to consider parental requests for absence from school in term time, it still remains the legal duty of parents to ensure the regular attendance of a child of compulsory school age. Failure to do so could result in the Local Authority issuing a penalty notice or prosecuting the parents in the Magistrates Court.
DfE guidelines clearly state that absence from school can be taken in exceptional circumstances and this means that the parent must make a strong case for taking a child out of school in an academic year. Exceptional circumstances must be explained fully to the school who will then consider the request. Any medical appointments/procedures during school time are always authorised but school does require evidence such as appointment cards or letters.
Parents should not expect that schools would automatically agree to an absence from school during term time. All requests are at the discretion of the Principal and can only be authorised by the Principal or member of staff with designated authority in the absence of the Principal.