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Legal Background and Parental Responsibilities
The Policy has been formulated based on legal guidance from the Department for Education.
The Jamia will work in partnership with staff, students, parents/carers and support services.
The Government expects schools to promote good attendance and reduce absence, including persistent absence, ensure every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled and act early to address patterns of absence.
Parents* are expected to perform their legal duty by ensuring their children of compulsory school age who are registered at school attend regularly and arrive to school on time”.
The government has laid down guidelines which they expect students at secondary school to achieve in terms of attendance. They are set at 95% attendance. A student will fall below 95% if they miss as little as half a day over a 2 week period.
It is the expectation of the school that all students will achieve at least 95% attendance. There are a variety of reasons for students missing school. Some are unavoidable but we would ask that you support us in ensuring that your child’s attendance meets both the school and the government’s expectations. Any problems with regular attendance, especially any concerns about possible bullying or learning difficulties are best sorted out by the school, the parents and the student at an early stage. We will closely monitor your child’s attendance and alert you if we feel there is an issue. The school undertakes a wide range of measures to support students where attendance at school is an issue. Where there may be an issue and we fail to see an improvement it may be necessary to make a referral to an appropriate external agency to ensure the student receives the support required to bring about an improvement.
The Head Teacher is the only person who will decide about authorising or un-authorising any absences. The Head Teacher should be contacted in writing by mail or e-mail for authorization via firstname.lastname@example.org or any other method mentioned on our website during working days and hours in advance.
Daily Procedures: Registration
Under the Education Regulations the school is legally required to register students twice daily. Registers are marked in the morning at 8.30am and in the afternoon at 1.30pm. It is essential that all students are registered on both occasions.
Lessons start at 8.30am so all students should be in their class in preparation for the register being taken before 8:30am. At this time they should collect items for the day and make sure that they are aware of any changes / arrangements to the day’s activities. It is a legal requirement that a register is taken at the start of the day. Not only does the process allow us to monitor attendance but also to act as a student checklist in respect of health and safety issues – e.g. Fire Drill
Each year a school calendar is sent out and is also on the Jamia website which clearly indicates the days when your child is expected to be in school. If your child tells you that school is to be closed on a day not indicated on the school calendar, please check by telephoning or emailing the school.
Absence from school
Regular attendance at school is the responsibility of parents and carers. Under the regulations mentioned in the beginning of this policy, parents commit an offence if the child does not attend school regularly. If your child cannot come to Jamia because of illness you should advise the Jamia on the first day of absence by email or telephone. If no message is received we will assume that your child is absent without your permission. We will then make every effort to contact you. It is essential that the Jamia is kept informed of changes of contact details such as phone numbers and addresses. Parents are encouraged to ensure that their child brings in a letter confirming the reasons for the absence when the child returns to the Jamia.
Once contact (verbal and/or written) has been made with the parent the Jamia will determine if the absence is to be authorised or unauthorised.
The Jamia will only authorise a medical absence if the circumstances are unavoidable. The Jamia requests medical evidence if a parent rings the school to confirm the student is unwell: medical appointment card with one appointment entered, letter from a professional, doctor’s note, medication prescribed by a doctor, copy of prescription, print screen of medical notes, as well as letters concerning hospital appointments or any other relevant evidence. The Head Teacher may not authorise medical absence without this evidence. Please see attached medical form that can be completed by the doctor.
The Jamia may authorise absence under certain specific circumstances. However, the parent must contact the Head Teacher in advance to secure authorisation. This may include work related interviews and meetings with external agencies.
Unauthorised Absence from School
Unauthorised absence is where a school is not satisfied with the reasons given for the absence. These are an offence by the parent and therefore they must
pay a fine of £30 per unauthorised day
starting from 8:30am from the Monday after the weekend/holidays. This fine will double on a weekly basis due to lack of payment and will have a maximum cap of £300
for each day of unauthorised absence. Such circumstances include:
- A student not attending Jamia to go shopping for school clothes
- A student not attending Jamia as it is her birthday or the birthday of a family member
- A student not attending Jamia as the family have gone to the airport to meet a visiting relative
- A student not attending Jamia due to attending a hospital appointment for another family member
- A student not attending Jamia due to the fact the family returned late in the previous evening from a family holiday
- A student not attending Jamia as they are looking after younger siblings
- A student attends a medical appointment in the morning but then fails to return to Jamia for afternoon lessons
- General Holiday or travelling abroad.
- No valid reason for absence.
- Umrah/Hajj/Pilgrimage –
- will not be considered for authorisation during any internal or external examination days/weeks.
- Head Teacher must be contacted/e-mailed before booking.
- Each case will be considered individually to evaluate the impact this will have on the well-being and/or academic progress of the pupil.
- No more than 3 additional school days will be granted in such cases that are granted authorisation.
We do appreciate that it is often difficult for parents / carers to obtain written confirmation of medical appointments. Parents / carers can obtain ‘Medical Authorisation Cards’ from the Jamia to take with them to the doctors to confirm their child has attended a medical appointment. (see below) Parents / carers must ensure the card is stamped, dated and signed by the practice to confirm their child has attended a medical appointment.
Parents are asked to make routine medical and dental appointments outside Jamia hours wherever possible. Where such appointments in Jamia time are unavoidable, parents should inform the school in advance so a decision can be made whether to authorise the absence or not.
Jamia Medical Appointment Card
Request form for leave/absence during term time