Holidays during term time
As you know, taking family holidays during term time is a difficult issue and we are aware of how challenging it can be for some families to have time off work during the school planned holidays. One of the reasons our governors battled to have two weeks in May/June was to offer our parents another good alternative date for a family holiday: better weather and hopefully lower costs. We also chose not to issue fines to parents, under great pressure to do so.
Unfortunately though, some families are extending this planned two week holiday to either the week before or the week of our return. Not only has this affected our overall attendance rate which fell to 84% during those weeks, it has caused teachers huge difficulties with the standard tests and in-school assessments. In Year 6, after the SATs, the children have to produce evidence for external writing moderation. These pieces of work have to be recent and fulfil the standards as detailed in the interim framework. There is also the chance that we may be selected for the Science tests which take place during the week of our return. In Key Stage 1, tests have to be given to children during the month of May. We want to give children the maximum time to prepare for these assessments but cannot count the last week as part of the allocation of time due to the numbers of families taking holidays.
Unless we deem it to be an exceptional circumstance, we cannot authorise holidays during term time. We know how much our parents value their child’s education: we have always had a good rate of attendance, always above national. Last year, however, the gap between our attendance and national was closing (96% : 96.2%) and we are making a plea for your support when making decisions about holidays during term time. There is a great deal of evidence to show that poor attendance impacts on children’s achievement and it is due to this, schools monitor and promote good attendance. As the national percentage of attendance is currently 96%, if your child’s attendance is below this, they are below national.
Ofsted make judgements about our school, using attendance as a key issue. Low attendance can have a huge impact on the overall judgement of our school.
We would really appreciate your support with this matter and, in order to promote good attendance, we will be monitoring the attendance of each class each week. Our Pupil Council will select an appropriate reward for the class with the highest percentage and the winning class will be published in the school newsletter and on the school website.
Sincerest thanks in anticipation of your support with this matter.
Mrs J Cook-Hannah
For parents believing there are exceptional circumstances regarding the need to take their child(ren) out of school during term time, and they wish to request authorisation for this, the form below needs to be completed and handed into the office giving at least one term’s notice from the date of absence.