For our pupils to gain the greatest benefit from the outstanding quality of education available at Fairfield it is vital that they attend regularly and on time, every day the school is open, unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. We aim to work together with parents/carers, staff and outside agencies to ensure that all pupils, registered at the school, attend both regularly and punctually. The attendance target for each individual pupil at Fairfield High School is 96%; therefore, pupils and their parents/carers will be challenged about any absences when attendance falls below this target. A pupil is now considered to have persistent absence if their attendance is 90% or below.
If your child is absent you must contact us as soon as possible on each day of absence so that we know you are aware that your child is not in school.
Parents who need to take their child out of school during term time must apply using the ‘Leave of Absence Application’. In line with government guidance, Fairfield High School for Girls will not authorise leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. All requests for leave of absence will be responded to in writing. Retrospective requests will not be considered and therefore will result in the absence being categorised as unauthorised.
Fairfield High School for Girls recognises we have pupils from all religious backgrounds and cultures and we embrace this cultural diversity. Parents who need to take their child out of school to follow a religious observance must apply using the ‘Leave of Absence Application’. Fairfield High School for Girls will authorise one day of religious absence. Applications for absence for this type must be made in advance. Failure to do so will lead to the absence being recorded as unauthorised.
If the permission to take leave is not granted and the parent takes their child out of school the absence will be unauthorised. In such cases, the school may request the Local Authority issue a Penalty Notice or consider other legal sanctions including prosecution in the Magistrates Court. Please see this letter (September 2023) from Mrs Bateman with the latest information from the Local Authority regarding unauthorised absence and penalty notices.
If a pupil fails to return to school in line with the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2013, the pupil may be removed from school roll. This means that the child will lose their school place and would have to reapply if desired.
If a child is registered at a school, it is the parent’s legal responsibility to ensure that the child attends school punctually, every day. Parents are committing an offence if they fail to ensure their child’s regular attendance at school. The Department for Education says:
“If your child fails to attend regularly – even if they miss school without you knowing – the Local Authority may take legal action against you.”
The consequence of this may be a Fixed Penalty Notice (fine) or prosecution in the Magistrate’s Court (fine, court costs and a criminal record). Please note that non-payment of a Fixed Penalty Notice can also lead to prosecution in the Magistrate’s Court.