Parents and carers are requested not to take their children out of school during term time, as missing school means missing out on vital lessons and key areas of learning. With approximately 175 non-school days available across a calendar year, we strongly encourage families to use this time for non-urgent medical and any other appointments to support your child’s good attendance.
Holidays can no longer be authorised in term time, as detailed in this letter. Permission for absence can only be given in highly exceptional circumstances and parents and carers must apply to the Head of School at least 2 weeks in advance using this form; retrospective approval is not possible. No absence will be authorised during practice or public examination periods. We may ask Oxfordshire County Council to issue a penalty notice for a fine if students are taken out of school for an unauthorised purpose.
In general, if attendance drops below 95%, the school contacts parents/carers to check there are no wider issues behind the absence and to offer support to ensure students can return to school as soon as possible. Please note that the school is obliged to report attendance below 90% to the Local Authority Attendance and Engagement Service, as this is considered persistant absence.
We do understand that on rare occasions, absence will be unavoidable.
If your child is ill or cannot attend school due to an appointment or exceptional circumstance, please contact the absence line on 01235 538243 and leave a message. In the case of prolonged absence, please telephone your child’s tutor or leave a message for them.
If there has been a family bereavement or an incident that may affect your child’s attendance, behaviour or concentration, please contact the school so we can alert your child’s teachers and the pastoral team to ensure they offer the right support. Please be assured the details can remain confidential and, if required, the school can arrange for work to be sent home.
We politely request a written note when your child returns to Fitzharrys following an absence. This should be addressed to your child’s tutor stating the dates and reason for missing school.