On the first day of your child's absence you must contact the absence line:
Call 01325 248117
Please leave a message stating your child’s name, tutor group and reason for absence. Please call on every day of your child’s absence unless you know your child is going to be off for more than one day. In this case please state the length of absence on your first call. Any absence longer than 3 days will require medical evidence such as appointment card, medication or copy of prescription.
As a parent you have a legal duty to make sure your children are educated. Children are of statutory school age between the ages of 5 and 16. More precisely this runs from the term after a child’s 5th birthday until the last Friday in June in the school year in which they turn 16.
All pupils who are late in a morning should report to the main reception where their name, time of arrival and reason for lateness will be recorded. This information will then be sent to the Attendance Officer. The Attendance Officer will code the absence electronically. School begins at 8.50am and all pupils are expected to be in school for registration at this time. Any child arriving after 8.50am and after registration has been submitted is late and will be recorded as such. These pupils should sign in at reception immediately. Registers close at 09:10. Pupils arriving after this time are given a late mark. For attendance purposes these pupils are classed as absent without authorisation.
In cases where a pupil leaves the site temporarily for an appointment to return later in the same day, the school must note the pupil's details in the event of an emergency evacuation. Pupils who leave the site for any reason are required to bring in a parental note explaining the reason for departure and the departure time. They should get the note signed by their form tutor and then take it to Pupil Reception where they will be issued with an official pass to leave the school site. If they return before the end of the school day they should sign in at Pupil Reception.
The school policy is that no holiday will be authorised during term time except in exceptional circumstances. This is a decision explained on the Department for Education website with effect from 1st September 2013. Parents/carers wishing to apply for holiday during term time under exceptional circumstances should write a letter to the Principal giving the dates of the proposed absence and the reasons and evidence why it is claimed to be exceptional circumstances. Each case will be assessed on an individual basis and the holiday will either be authorised or unauthorised – a letter will be sent to the parent/carer advising them of the decision. Taking unauthorised holiday during term time may result in a penalty notice being issued.
Section 444A of the Education Act 1996 empowers designated LA officers to issue PNs in cases of unauthorised absence from school or alternative provision. These powers were extended by Section 105 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and the Education (Penalty Notice) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 to allow Penalty Notices to be issued to parents of pupils found in a public place, without reasonable justification, during the first 5 days of any fixed term or permanent suspension. Darlington Borough Council will consider issuing penalty notices in the following circumstances: