Children on roll at a special school must, by law, attend that school regularly and punctually.
Regular attendance is important, not just because the law requires it but also because it is the best way of ensuring children make the most of the educational opportunities available to them.
When a child is absent from school, he misses not only the teaching provided on the days when absent but is also less prepared for the lessons on his return. This will lead to a risk of underachievement.
There may be occasions when a child has to miss school - for example, if unwell. Any other absences should be kept to an absolute minimum.
Parents do not have any automatic right or entitlement to take a child out of school. It is likely that in most cases the Headteacher will refuse to authorise the absence.
The Government has directed that Headteachers may now only grant leave for a holiday in term-time where there are exceptional circumstances.
If an absence request is not authorised by the school and the absence is still taken, this will be classified as unauthorised.
Should leave be granted but the child remain absent for longer than agreed, then this extra time will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.
Any leave of absence that has not been authorised may be referred to the Education Welfare Service. This may result in the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecution proceedings.
A Fixed Penalty Notice is an alternative to prosecution, giving you an opportunity to discharge your criminal liability by paying a fine of £120, which must be paid within 28 days. If the matter proceeds to court this carries a maximum penalty of £2,500, a community order or a jail sentence up to 3 months.
If you do need to take your child out of school for any reason, then please complete the form below and send it to the school office.