I am writing to inform you of updated legal guidance for schools that will take effect once school returns after the 2024 summer holidays. These changes are in response to the publication of “Working together to improve school attendance 2024” which is aimed at ensuring all students receive a consistent and uninterrupted education.

Statutory Expectations

The Department for Education has implemented updated legal guidance concerning school attendance, which sets out compulsory expectations. The key points of this legislation are as follows:

1. Attendance: All students are required to attend school regularly. Absences will only be excused for valid reasons such as illness, medical appointments, or pre-approved exceptional circumstances

2. Punctuality: It is a parent/carer's responsibility to ensure a child attends school on time, poor punctuality will affect the child's school attendance and quality of education

3. Attendance monitoring: The school will closely monitor attendance records. Parents will be contacted regarding any concerning patterns of absences, and meetings may be scheduled to discuss solutions to improve attendance

4. Unauthorised term time leave: Parents/carers have no legal right to remove a child from education. The local authority may issue a Penalty Notice of up to £160 per child, per parent/carer for unauthorised term time leave. To comply with the safeguarding process parents/carers must complete a term time absence form available from the school office. This should be completed in advance of any leave

School Expectations

In light of the updated legal guidance, we have updated our school attendance policy to ensure compliance and to support our students' academic success. We expect all parents and carers to:

• Ensure prompt attendance: Students should arrive on time every day, ready to participate in their classes

• Communicate effectively: Notify the school immediately of any absences and provide the necessary documentation when required

• Engage with school resources: If you are facing challenges that affect your child's attendance, please reach out to the school. We have resources and staff members available to assist you in overcoming these obstacles

Support and resources

We understand that there may be circumstances that make regular attendance difficult. Our school is committed to supporting families in any way possible. Please contact Mrs Bell at 0191 2570323 for assistance or to discuss any concerns regarding your child’s attendance.

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we implement these changes. Our collective effort will ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed in their education. Thank you for your continued support and commitment to your child's learning.