As many of you will be aware both through issues in the news and also through our newsletter, we have been instructed by the Government to reduce the number of days lost in school by children through holiday absence.
With advice from Kent County Council, our local Cluster of schools has agreed to send out a letter giving advice to all parents of children attending schools in the area outlining our Policy.
Pupils' absence during term time can seriously disrupt their continuity of learning. Not only do they miss the teaching provided on the days they are away, but they are also less prepared for lessons after their return. There will be an inevitable and significant negative impact on your child's progress and the absence can create the risk of poor results for your child. There is considerable evidence to demonstrate a clear link between attendance and results and the subsequent impact on children's future life chances. The attached sheet graphically summarises the impact on children's learning of absence at various levels.
All requests for holiday leave are considered individually by the Headteacher and will only be approved for very exceptional circumstances. Issues relating to the cost of a holiday are unfortunately not recognised as sufficient grounds for authorisation. Parents and carers should carefully consider the effect the absence will have on their child's education before writing to me stating why the request should be considered as an exception.
There have been enormous pressures on Headteachers to challenge holiday absence in term time because of the impact on children's progress. We have to work closely with the Education School Liaison Officers who check the registers regularly and we are instructed to only authorise holiday applications in very exceptional circumstances. The Cranbrook & Paddock Wood Cluster of schools has established a protocol on attendance issues, which provides for such absences generally only to be authorised in very exceptional circumstances involving compassionate family situations.
If a holiday is taken without the school's permission, or the child fails to return on the agreed date, then the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. From September 2007 this will be considered as truancy and the Local Authority may take further action by issuing a Penalty Notice.
Please consider this advice very seriously before taking your child out of school during term time and help us to provide the education for your child to which she, or he, is entitled.
Read our Attendance Policy
Read our Attendance Tracker