Help and Advice if your child may not be able to come to school

How do I decide if my child is too ill to come to school?

We ask that you consider the following when deciding with your child if they are well enough for school:

  1. Is my child too ill to undertake the activities planned in the school day?
  2. Would I take the day off work for this illness?
  3. Does my child have a condition that could be passed on to other children? The website can give helpful advice when making the decision ‘is my child too ill to go to school?’.

If your child’s attendance is broken by regular absence due to minor illnesses (broken weeks) we will write to you to advise you that any further absences will not be authorised without medical evidence. In these circumstances reporting your child ill will no longer be sufficient to authorise the absence.

If you child becomes ill during the school day they will be assessed by the first aider. If your child has a known medical condition we will contact you immediately. If the child is presenting with a minor ailment they will be encouraged to stay in school and will be monitored by our trained school first aider.

If your child is unable to attend school:

For safeguarding reasons, we need to know where your child is at all times during term time. If your child cannot attend school please take the following steps:

  1. Contact us on 01493 661406 as soon as possible on the first day of absence with the reason for absence.
  2. Contact the school on each subsequent day that the pupil is absent from school and inform the school of the expected return date.

If your child does not attend school we will:

  1. Contact you on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you.
  2. Expect your child to catch up missed work and homework on their return.

A member of our attendance team may visit your home address should we receive no reason for absence to either alert you to the absence and to collect the reason for absence. It is vitally important that you inform us if you change your phone number for any reason.

Absences will either be classified as authorised or unauthorised. Authorised absences are absences that are agreed by the school. Examples of these include: some illness, certified emergency doctor’s appointments, orthodontic appointments and close relative funerals. Unauthorised absences include: shopping for uniform, waiting for delivery men and looking after siblings or family members.

Doctors and dental appointments should always be made in the school holidays or outside of school hours. If for any reason you cannot obtain an appointment outside of school hours, please be aware that your child will receive a present mark only if they attend school before the appointment but will be marked absent if they do not. We would not expect appointments to last more than 1 hour. Pupils should attend before and after all appointments.

Are you experiencing difficulty in motivating your child to come to school?

Each child and family will be different but it is important, in the first instance, to identify the reason why your child is not going to school. This can involve talking to them, observing the triggers of their behaviour, and talking to teachers, our attendance and pastoral teams or other professionals like a GP or psychologist.

Some other steps may include:

  • Develop a plan together: once the reason for the refusal is understood, parents can work with the child and LGA staff to develop a plan. This may involve working on academic skills, seeking counselling, or making changes to the school environment and routine.
  • Be responsive and supportive: children who are experiencing school refusal may be feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed. Parents can provide emotional support and encouragement to help the child feel more confident and comfortable with attending school.
  • Encourage positive relationships: helping your child to form positive relationships with peers and teachers can help them feel more connected to the school community and more motivated to attend. Encourage them to attend LGA’s varied extra-curricular activities and clubs to foster a greater sense of belonging.
  • Seek further professional help: if a child’s refusal to attend school is severe and persistent, mental health professionals can help. Parents can book an appointment via GP or see a private professional. LGA also offer an on-site counsellor.

Some helpful links in supporting your child

Term time leave and family holidays

Government guidelines prevent academies from granting any leave of absence during term time, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Should your child’s absence exceed the threshold and subsequently trigger a fixed penalty notice, you should be aware that the Local Authority may issue a Penalty Notice, payable directly to them.

We realise that the vast majority of parents do not take family holidays in term time as they recognise the significant impact this can have on their child’s education.

We hope that you will continue to support us by not planning a leave of absence during term time however, should you have planned or are planning leave, please collect an exceptional circumstances form from pupil office or main reception. The decision whether or not to authorise the absence will be taken by the principal.