All children are expected to attend school regularly. In cases of illness or exceptional circumstances relating to non-attendance, parents are asked to notify the school by telephone on the first day of absence, and also in writing on your child’s return to school if the absence is longer than one day. By doing this we will then be able to fulfil our legal requirements regarding the registration of pupils and record the reason for absence in the class register. All absences for which we do not receive valid reasons are shown as unauthorised absences on the pupil’s Annual Report. ALL unauthorised absences or frequent absences are monitored and in persistent or long-term cases the school will call upon the Education Welfare Officer to visit the child’s home.
The attendance rate at Balgowan for the academic year was 97.3% in 2016 which was above the national average.
If your child is absent due to illness, a ‘phone call or message to the school office should be made on the first day of absence, followed with a note on your child’s return to school giving the dates and reason for absence. It would be appreciated if verbal messages are not given to class teachers, but are directed to the school office please. Please note that we will contact parents/carers of pupils in Years 5 and 6 in the morning if no message is received on the first day of absence. If the school becomes concerned about the authenticity of any illness, the school may in certain circumstances consult its Education Welfare Officer and the School Health service or the pupil’s GP.
Requests for leave of absence during term-time
While the school does not encourage absences during term-time, if you need to take your child out of school for half a day or longer for any reason, please complete a green ‘Application for Pupil Absence’ form available from the school office or for download one from this page.
With regard to medical appointments, we ask parents/carers to make appointments outside of school hours please. We understand that on occasion this is unavoidable and ask please that you send a note in advance or a ‘phone call to the school office if you need to take your child out of school for doctor/dentist/hospital appointments. If the appointment requires half a day or longer, please have available the hospital/medical appointment card or letter in order to avoid an unauthorised absence mark for the morning or afternoon in question.
Amendments to The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 – which came into force on 1st September 2013 – have removed references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments make it clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Our Education Welfare Officer works one afternoon every fortnight helping the school to improve its good attendance record. She works closely with our Admin Office looking at ways to help parents/carers raise attendance levels. She will continue to contact and or meet with parents/carers where there are attendance concerns. We would welcome parents/carers support and co-operation in this matter by ensuring children’s learning is given their utmost priority.
Days of religious observance
- Absence from school to take part in any day set aside exclusively for religious observance by the religious body to which the parents belong, including religious festivals will be authorised by the school.
- We encourage all parents to give advance notice to their child’s teacher or the school office, particularly if the period of religious observance is likely to last for a long period of time.