Parents are asked not to arrange family holidays or extended visits during term time.
If this is completely unavoidable then requests should be made to the Principal in advance, before booking the holiday. Leave of absence request forms are available from Reception.
The Principal is the only person who can give permission for leave of absence during term time. The Education Regulations 2006 make clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Where the Principal decides that authorisation cannot be given but the absence occurs, a Penalty Notice will be issued in line with the Oldham Code of Conduct.
Parents can be issued a Fixed Penalty Notice by the Local Authority for their child’s non-attendance. The penalty is £60 per child, per parent and this rises to £120 if not paid after 21 days but within 28 days. Each Local Authority should publish a ‘Code of Conduct’ for Fixed Penalty Notices.
The Principal decides if they wish to fine unauthorised absences from school by issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice. The Principal then requests by a referral to the Local Authority to issue a fixed Penalty Notice on his or her behalf.
There is no right of appeal against a Fixed Penalty Notice. If this is not paid, the Local Authority can proceed to prosecution or withdraw the notice. The Local Authority can also prosecute parents for non-attendance without issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice. Only the Local Authority can prosecute parents and they must fund all associated costs. Local authorities must conduct its investigations in line with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE).
If a registered pupil of compulsory school age fails to attend school regularly, the parent could be guilty of an offence under section 444 Education Act 1996. In April 2017, the Supreme Court held that attending school “regularly” means attendance in accordance with the rules prescribed by the school and not “sufficiently frequent attendance“. This means that a child must attend school on every day that the school requires him or her to do so and failure to do this may lead to the commission of an offence.
There are 2 offences:
1. Section 444(1) Education Act 1996 – If the child is absent without authorisation then the parent is guilty of an offence. This is a strict liability offence i.e. all that needs to be shown is a lack of regular attendance. Sanctions can include a fine of up to £1,000.
2. Section 444(1A) Education Act 1996 – an aggravated offence. If the child is absent without authorisation and the parent knew about the child’s absence and failed to act then the parent is guilty of an offence. Sanctions can include a fine of up to £2,500 and a prison sentence of up to 3 months.