I would like to advise you about important changes to legislation announced by the Department for Education (DfE) with regard to holidays in term time.
From 1 September 2013, schools are no longer allowed to authorise any requests for children to be taken out of school for a holiday during term time.
Requests for leave can only be granted in exceptional circumstances, and a holiday would not be considered exceptional. Requests for leave must also be made to the school in advance, as the DfE have told schools that they cannot authorise any absences after they have been taken.
Parents may receive a penalty notice if their child is absent from school without permission.
From September 2013 the cost of these notices will be £60 per child per parent if paid within 21 days, and £120 if paid between 22 and 28 days.
We appreciate the challenges that some parents face when booking holidays, particularly during the school holidays. However, regular attendance at school is vital in helping children and young people to achieve their full potential and get the best possible start in life.
Nationally, five million school days were missed in the academic year 2011/ 2012 because of family holidays in term time, which is 10.1 per cent of overall absence in schools. This high level of absence has led the government to make this important change to legislation.
We anticipate that all schools in Leeds will introduce firm policies, and we will work closely with them to ensure that this change to the law has a positive impact on rates of attendance in the city.
I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the council and your child’s school to thank you for your full support in this matter.
Further information can be found at www.dfe.gov.uk.
Deputy director, learning skills and universal services
Be in the line at ten to nine
As well as making sure your child comes to school every day it is extremely important that children are at school on time. They should be in the line at ten to nine (lined up in the playground ready to start the day.) Even just a few minutes a day adds up over the year, we begin our learning as soon as we enter the classroom working on our early bird mental maths tasks. Being late in the morning means missing this valuable maths teaching which equips the children with valuable mental maths skills which helps them succeed in maths lessons and in later life.
When making doctor, dentist or hospital appointments please try wherever possible to make these for after the end of the school day
We are the only school in Leeds to gain sponsorship for our attendance. The fabulous TD DIrect (an Investment Bank) sponsor our weekly trophy, they provided a trophy for the winners and the school mascots Parky the Penguin. This is in addition to being rewarded £500 for 95% whole school attendance; £400 for 94% and so on.
We run a termly attendance 100% club, children achieving 100% attendance received special rewards or treats and we have a weekly raffle for Attendee of the week in every class.
We celebrate attendance every Friday in a special assembly where the class with the best attendance win the trophy and Parky the Penguin for the week. Every class which has an average attendance of 95% or more can play Classopoly.
Classopoly is our monopoly style board game – you will spot it on the wall in our hall. Each class has their own monopoly piece which moves round the board, every week you have 95% or more your class gets to roll the dice and move around the board. There is one special difference about our board though – instead of houses the squares are all rewards everything from extra playtime and art activities to milkshakes, crispy buns or a special lesson with Mr Dyson.