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It is a legal requirement that children attend school and are punctual each day. Attendance at Occold School is excellent and I am pleased to say that the record of unauthorised absence is very low.

Parents are required to inform the school when a child is absent, on the first day of absence, if not then a note of explanation on the child’s return will suffice. Advance notice of known absence is helpful and appreciated. Children should be encouraged to come into school unless they are really ill and need to be in bed.

The Government guidance on children taking time off school for annual holidays has recently changed. Most holidays will not be authorised and will be marked on your child’s attendance record as unauthorised which could lead to a financial penalty. Parents are requested to write a short letter explaining the reasons why they wish to take holiday within term time. Acceptable reasons for absence could include:

  • Service personnel returning from a tour of duty abroad where it is evidenced the individual will not be in receipt of any leave in the near future that coincides with school holidays.
  • Seasonal leave restrictions such as those for people who work in agriculture and hospitality.
  • Where an absence from school is recommended by a health professional as part of a parent or child’s rehabilitation from a medical or emotional issue.
  • The death or terminal illness of a person close to the family.
  • To attend a wedding or funeral of a person close to the family.

Cheaper off-peak holidays are never considered an acceptable reason.