Rushen Primary School

Learning and Growing

Absences and Lateness

Please inform school by telephone if your child is going to be absent or late so that we can account for them. We expect children to be punctual and we keep a record if a child is late. If a child is absent and you do not inform us, school will phone to find out where they are.

In accordance with our Department’s policy on attendance at school, we strongly discourage parents taking their children away on holiday in term time. We believe this has a huge impact on the continuity of their learning. Should parents decide this is unavoidable then they are required to write a letter to the Headteacher and he will decide whether the case will be considered as either authorised or unauthorised, given the individual circumstances of the request, together with the picture of general attendance and academic performance for that individual child.

Before deciding to request absence in term time for your child, please read carefully the following.
The decision to authorise absence is at the head teacher’s discretion based on their assessment of the situation.
Term times are for education. This is the priority. Children and families have 175 days off school to spend time together, including weekends and school holidays. The Headteacher will rightly prioritise attendance. The default school policy should be that absences will not be granted during term time and will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances.
If an event can reasonably be scheduled outside of term time then it would not be normal to authorise absence.

Absence during term time for holidays/vacations is therefore not considered an exceptional circumstance.

Absences to visit family members off Island are also not normally granted during term time if they could be scheduled for holiday periods or weekends. Children may however need time to visit seriously ill relatives across in the UK or beyond.

Absence for a bereavement of a close family member is usually considered an exceptional circumstance.

Absences for important religious observances are often taken into account but only for the ceremony and travelling time, not extended leave. This is intended for one off situations rather than regular or recurring events.

Our school will make reasonable exceptions for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities.

Our school recognises that occasionally, families may need time together to recover from trauma or crisis.

Our school will take a pupil's previous record of attendance into account when making decisions.

It is important to note that the headteacher will determine the length of the authorised absence as well as whether absence is authorised at all.

These examples provided are illustrative rather than exhaustive. The fundamental principles for defining ‘exceptional’ are rare, significant, unavoidable and short. And by 'unavoidable' we mean an event that could not reasonably be scheduled at another time.

Any other requests for time out of school, such as educational based activities, competing in sports events in the UK etc. should also be put in writing to the Headteacher in advance of the event.

All attendance information, including authorised and unauthorised absence and lateness will be recorded on the child’s academic report at the end of the school year.

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