Absence from School
There are two types of absence from school: authorised and unauthorised.
Authorised Absences: are those where the pupil has received authorisation from a teacher or authorised representative of the school or where satisfactory explanations have been received from a parent/carer (e.g. pupil illness.)
Unauthorised Absences: are those where a pupil is absent from school without the permission of a teacher or representative of the school.
Educational Authority Policy:
Please click here for the link to the Cambridgeshire County Council Website for current guidance on "Attendance", "Non- Attendance and the Law" and "Term time holidays."
Our Attendance policy to the left of this page.
Planned Absence Notification:
With regards to planned absence, the legal position is clear: parents do not have the right to take their child(ren) out of school for holidays during term time. By law you must ask permission for your child to miss school and if you fail to gain the school’s permission and still go away on holiday you will be referred to the County Education Welfare Officer and may risk receiving a £60 penalty notice per parent per child and/or prosecution.
A Headteacher may only grant a leave of absence during term time if there are exceptional circumstances full details of which will be required. If you do seek to withdraw your child(ren) from school during term time please read our guidance note for parents (see left) then you must apply using the application form (on the left of this page also). All sections of this form must be completed, signed and handed to our Attendance Officer, Mr Iain Grant not less than two weeks before the absence period requested. Incomplete forms will not be considered.
The School will consider each request for planned absence on an individual basis taking into account the following factors only after the test of “exceptional circumstances” has been satisfied: the time of year of the proposed trip, if the dates are close to any exam dates, the pupil's overall level of attendance and in particular whether holiday has already previously been taken during any previous school year, the age of the pupil and the ability of the pupil to catch up on the work missed.
The planned absence forms are also available from the Attendance Officer in Reception.
Same Day - Online Notification:
If a pupil is required to leave the school premises during the school day (perhaps to go to a medical or other appointment) the parent/carer should also write a short explanatory note in their child's School Planner or send an email to their child's tutor the day before the appointment.
This authorisation will be checked by the pupil's form tutor and/or teacher of the lesson they are leaving. The pupil must also 'sign out' (at the College Reception) before leaving the school premises so the school has a record of them being off-site in the event of a fire evacuation or other emergency. The pupil must sign in' upon their return.
[The online form should only be used and submitted by parents/carers to report 'same day' pupil absences. Planned absence requests on this forms will not be considered. It may not be used by pupils unless there are special circumstances. If notified details are judged to be inconsistent with known pupil information, the college will contact the parents to confirm the request.]
Same Day - By Phone Message:
For 'same day' notification (short-term illness or doctors' appointments etc) parents/carers can also register pupil absences by phone. Please call the college on 01223 262503. Parents or guardians should leave a message stating pupil name, tutor group and the reason for absence. Parents/carers should notify pupil absences as soon as possible, ideally by 8.30am on each morning of absence.
If the pupil is absent from school and a notification of absence is not received, the college will record an 'unauthorised absence' against the pupil.
If a pupil is due to leave school premises during the school day (perhaps to go to a medical appointment) the parent/carer should also write a short explanatory note in their child's College Diary.
This authorisation will be checked by the pupil's form tutor and/or teacher of the lesson they are leaving. The pupil must also 'sign out' (at the School Admin Office) before leaving the school premises so the school has a record of them being off-site in the event of a fire evacuation or other emergency. The pupil must 'sign in' on their return.
Any pupil found using the notification facilities with the intention to mislead or gain advantage will have committed a significant breach of school discipline. Such misuse will result in disciplinary procedures being brought by Comberton Village College.
Please specify clearly when contacting the school if your child is not attending due to COVID-19. Some possible scenarios for non-attendance ( as listed by the DfE) include:
- Your child has symptoms of COVID-19 (hyperlink to NHS) and is awaiting a test or test result
- Your child has a positive test result for COVID-19
- A member of your child’s household has symptoms of COVID-19 and is awaiting a test or test result
- A member of your child’s household has a positive test result for COVID-19
- Your child is advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
As usual, parents should plan their holidays within school breaks and avoid seeking permission to take their children out of school during term time. Families should also consider that their child may need to self-isolate following trips overseas that require a period of quarantine.
Shielding advice for all adults and children paused on 1 August 2020. This means that even the small number of pupils who will remain on the shielded patient list can return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding.
If in future, rates of the disease rise in local areas, children still on the shielding list (or family members still on the shielding list) from that area, and that area only, may be contacted by the government and advised to stay at home and shield during the period where rates remain high. Families will receive a letter if they are required to shield again that parents will be able to share with the school.
Non-attendance in each of these scenarios will not count as a statistical absence. Further information on how to access remote learning will be given when reporting non-attendance due to COVID-19
It is understandable that there are some anxieties about the reopening and full-time attendance of all students in school. Parents and carers should seek support from their child’s tutor in the first instance. Parents and carers may also wish to refer to guidance on the school’s wellbeing page.
The Education Welfare Officer
The Cam Academy Trust employs an Education Welfare Officer, Rachael Panther. The school and EWO always try to work with pupils and parents at an early stage to resolve problems. This is nearly always successful. However, the EWO also has a legal role and if other ways of resolving attendance have failed, these officers can use legal sanctions such as Penalty Notices or prosecutions in the Magistrates court. Rachael can be contacted via the school reception.