Absence from school and Medications
RETURNING TO SCHOOL ON 8TH MARCH 2021 after the National Lockdown 3:
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), they should shield and not attend school. Parents must provide the school with a copy of the notification for their records.
If other household members are required to shield, and this is not specific to students that are of statutory school age and on school roll – normal attendance is expected and mandatory. Shielding is very specific to the individual and the guidance from government is clear: “Shielding guidance applies to clinically extremely vulnerable individuals only. Others living in a household with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable are not advised to follow this guidance. They should instead follow the general advice and regulations set out in the national lockdown guidance that came into effect on 5 January 2021”
This being the case, unless the shielding advice relates specifically to the student, attendance is expected and mandatory.
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)
However, shielding is not isolation or quarantining, and shielding individuals can go outside to perform essential tasks such as the school run.
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.
Forms to apply for both of the above types of leave of absence can be found in the school office