Reeth: 01748 884308 / Gunnerside: 01748 886321

Absences during term time

If a child is absent

Families are asked to contact school as soon as possible and by 9:00am on the first day of any absence due to illness. This information enables classteachers to record the absence correctly in the school register. Telephone calls are taken from 08:30 daily and before this time an answer machine is available. Please provide the reason for absence and the expected date of return to school.

If there is any doubt about the whereabouts of a child and the absence is unexplained, the school office will contact parents to ascertain the reason, as part of our safeguarding arrangements. In the rare occasion that parents can’t be contacted, all other pupil contacts will be contacted, in order, to try to ascertain a reason for absence and to complete a welfare check.

Reasons for pupil absence will be accepted via personal dialogue, telephone, email and written note from parents. Pupils cannot relay their own reasons for absence. Parents can send a written note with a sibling of an absent pupil.

Medical appointments

We encourage families to book medical appointments outside of the school day. We understand that this is not always possible. If arrangements have been made for a child to attend a medical or dental appointment during the school day, please contact the school office beforehand, enabling registers to be updated accordingly in advance.

Monitoring attendance

Aware that good attendance has a positive impact on pupil outcomes, the headteacher monitors attendance on a regular basis and reports this data to the Governing Body.

> 95%   Attendance is positive and a cause of celebration.

90% – 95%   Attendance is reasonable but could be improved. School will contact parents.

< 90%   The government currently classify persistent absence as below 90% attendance. The headteacher will contact parents to arrange a meeting and support will be offered. This will be followed by close monitoring and if attendance does not improve, a referral will be made to the Local Authority.

Term time absence and requests for leave

Parents do not have the right to remove their children from school during term time without prior permission and agreement by the headteacher. Applications must be made by a parent that the child lives with. Forms are available from the school office and  the link below.

Parents are urged to discuss leave requests well in advance of making any arrangements. Ordinarily, parents will be invited to a meeting to discuss their application. Leave requests need to be exceptional. 

The following are examples of the criteria for leave of absence, which may be considered as exceptional:

  • Service personnel returning from active deployment.
  • Where inflexibility of the parents’ leave or working arrangement is part of the organisational or company policy.  This would need to be evidenced by the organisation / company.
  • Where leave is recommended as part of parents’ or child’s rehabilitation from medical or emotional problems.
  • When a family needs to spend time together to support each other during or after a crisis.

This is not an exhaustive list; the headteacher should consider each application individually taking into account the specific facts and circumstances and relevant background context behind the request.

Please note that:

  • As headteachers should only grant leaves of absence in exceptional circumstances it is unlikely a leave of absence will be granted for the purposes of a family holiday.   Department for Education 
  • Leave will not be considered retrospectively.
  • Leave will not be approved if attendance is less than 95%.
  • Unfortunately, the fact a holiday is cheaper during term time will not be considered as an exceptional circumstance.
  • Leave cannot be granted because of the educational merit of a planned trip.
  • Parents must obtain permission before making any arrangements for leave in exceptional circumstances, otherwise the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.
  • Parents who take a child on leave in term time without the permission of the school risk being issued a fine for unauthorised absences.