*CHANGES TO THE FIXED PENALTY NOTICE FOR POOR ATTENDANCE
As you may have seen in the media more and more families are being given a fixed penalty notice for their child’s unauthorised absence from school. This can result in a £60 fine. The ruling has been that if a student has 21 unauthorised absence (10.5 days) then the school has a duty to fine parents. Hertswood have worked with the authority to uphold this but unfortunately there have been several prosecutions; with some families receiving fines of up to £1,400 for each child for persistent unauthorised absence. However, many parents have also worked closely with the school to avoid this and as a result the overall percentage attendance has now improved.
This year the Local Authority have tightened up on this ruling and now parents receive a fixed penalty notice if their child has 15 unauthorised absences (7.5 days). With this in mind it is now vital that parents contact the school each day to inform us if their child is absent. It is also vital that parents provide medical evidence as prolonged or continual illness will not be authorised without this evidence. The medical evidence can be in the form of an appointment card or medicine box/bottle with the prescription label printed on it. In some cases the school can, with parents’ permission, contact the GP directly to seek medical evidence. This will protect parents from prosecution.
In line with this policy please note we do not sanction holidays outside the normal academic timetable, for example, the first two weeks of the Autumn Term, which will incur an immediate fine for each child.
In order to support parents the school does its best to contact parents by text or letter to warn them about their child’s absence and that they are close to a fine. Students attendance can also be monitored online and the Head of Learning or Attendance Officer are always happy to discuss any concerns parents may have regarding their child’s attendance.