Absence from school and Medications
School attendance is mandatory for all children of statutory school age and on a school roll. Only students that have a statutory reason for not attending should be absent. The school will assess whether absence of individual pupils should be recorded as authorised or unauthorised.
If a student has received a letter from their GP that clearly states they have been identified as being critically extremely vulnerable (CEV). Parents must provide the school with a copy of the notification for their records.
There are different tests you can get to check if you have Coronavirus (COVID-19). The test you need depends on why you’re getting tested.
PCR tests are for people with symptoms (a high temperature; a continuous cough; a loss or change to sense of smell or taste).
Rapid lateral flow tests are only for people who do not have symptoms.
Current Government guidance (17th August 2021) advises that:
‘School attendance is mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age. It is your legal duty as a parent to send your child to school regularly if they are registered at one.’ ‘All clinically extremely vulnerable children and young people should attend their education setting. (Unless they are one of a very small number that have been advised by their clinician or specialist not to attend.)’
‘Children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school and have been identified as a close contact should continue to attend school as normal.’
‘Your child does not need to remain in a consistent group (bubble).’
‘Your nursery, school or college will no longer trace close contacts- close contacts will be identified via NHS Test and Trace.’
‘Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and they are; fully vaccinated, below the age of 18 years 6 months, are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons. Instead NHS Test and Trace will inform infected individuals that they have been in close contact with a positive case and advise then to get a PCR test.’
‘Children that have been identified as a close contact SHOULD ATTEND SCHOOL AS NORMAL.’
‘Do not send your child to school if they are showing one or more COVID-19 symptoms, have had a positive test result or they are required to Quarantine.’
We appreciate that single parent families (where the parent is shielding) may find the school run difficult. In these circumstances parents are encouraged to consider alternative arrangements:
- Form a support bubble with other family members or friends that could take their child/ren to and from school
- Allow older, responsible siblings in the family home to bring their brother/sister safely to and from school (mainly where primary school children are involved)
Parents are asked to contact the school daily as soon as possible when their child is to be absent either by telephoning or via email; if the school has not been contacted then we will telephone the parent/carer to find out the reason for absence. Any unexplained absence will be recorded as unauthorised and will appear in the school records. The school does not have any medical facilities and parents are therefore requested not to send children to school if they are unwell, or have not fully recovered from an illness.
In the event of a child being taken ill whilst at school, the parent or carer will be contacted and asked to collect the child from school as soon as possible. A child should not return to school following sickness or diarrhoea until at least 48 hours have passed since the last incidence. Children who have conjunctivitis should not be at school until they have been given medication and treated for 24 hours.
The school cannot undertake to administer medicines unless a signed and completed consent form (obtained from the school office) is received from the parents along with the medication. This should confirm the dosage and the time it is to be taken. The full bottle of medicine and a spoon should be left with the office staff and they will administer the dose. The bottle will need to be collected from the school office at the end of the day. We are only able to dispense prescribed medication (not anything bought ‘over the counter’ ). We therefore ask for your co-operation in only requesting our assistance if you are unable to administer the medication yourself, or if it is vital that it is given during the school day.
Asthma inhalers are stored in each child’s classroom to enable them to be accessible to children at all times. Children independently use them as required. A spare ‘backup’ inhaler can be stored in the welfare room medical cupboard if provided by the parent/carer. A letter is provided to parents to explain how asthma is managed in school after they have completed a school asthma card.
Holidays during Term Time
You may be aware from the press that a week before the end of the summer term The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, regarding absence for the purpose of a family holiday, was amended. They have removed the ability for the headteacher to grant a family holiday during term time of up to 10 days in ‘special circumstances’.
The new legislation makes it clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’.
At our school we have a large number of holiday requests each year which does impact on the learning and progress of the children involved. I have met with the board of directors and they have agreed that I can only grant leave of absence from now on in ‘exceptional circumstances’. I have amended the forms we use to reflect this. I will honour the leave of absence requests made prior to this amendment.
I will consider your ‘exceptional circumstances’ on any future requests but will not be able to authorise ‘standard holidays’. Under the new regulations you could be fined if you remove your child from school at any time other than the designated breaks.
* If leave is taken without authorisation it will be recorded as unauthorised absence and the matter may be referred to the Council’s Education Welfare Service, for consideration of further action.
Term Time Leave of Absence
Leave of absence of one day, for a special reason, such as external examinations and funeral attendance can be applied for. This absence will only be recognised if certified approval has been granted by the Headteacher.
Printed forms to apply for both of the above types of leave of absence can be found in the school office and an electronic version on the letters page of this website.