At Salesian we have always taken a very straightforward view when it comes to attendance: we expect students to be in school every day, barring serious illness or accident, and we do not permit holidays during term time.
However, parents should be aware that the law now enforces the position regarding holidays. The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013, which become law on 1st September 2013, state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The Headteacher 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 will be treated sympathetically, but only in exceptional circumstances can they be approved. The policy of Surrey County Council (to which Salesian 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 Headteacher, will be liable to receive a penalty notice. Penalty Notices will be issued by the Local Authority, and are issued separately to each parent, per child absent.
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 unauthorized absences, each parent will receive two Penalty Notices, which in this case would amount to £120 each if paid within 21 days.
There is additional, more detailed guidance regarding County Council penalty notices, available in the policies section of this website.
Please download and read the attached letter on attendance from Mr Kibble.