Peterborough parents reminded of importance of making sure children attend school regularly and on time

Parents and carers have been reminded about the importance of making sure their children attend school regularly and on time.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 4:00 am
Education news

Now schools have been re-opened, the Government has made it clear that all pupils should be going to school regularly.

This has been backed up by Jonathan Lewis, Director of Education for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council.

In a letter to parents he said: “The local authority firmly believes that for pupils to progress and achieve their full potential they need to attend school. Regular school attendance is very important in giving your child the best possible start in life. Children who miss school frequently can fall behind with their work and not perform as well in exams.

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“Children who arrive late at school after the attendance register is closed are deemed as absent from school. Therefore, it is equally important for everyone not to be late for registration. Missing 10 minutes a day over the year equates to 6.3 days education being lost,”

Penalty Notice fines for unauthorised absence during term time - including unauthorised family holidays – have also been reinstated.

Any application for leave can only be granted by the headteacher – and only in exceptional circumstances. Any parent who believes their circumstances are exceptional should discuss it with their child’s school first before making travel arrangements or allowing their child to be absent from school.

To address irregular school attendance, unauthorised term-time leave and late arrival at school, Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council can use a variety of enforcement actions - including the Penalty Notice fines and prosecution.

Cllr Bryony Goodliffe, Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee said: “We know that regular attendance is key to ensuring children achieve the best possible educational outcomes. The vast majority of parents support their child’s full attendance at school as they recognise the significant impact this can have on their child’s education and their life chances. Unfortunately there are a few who do not recognise this.”

Cllr Lynne Ayres, Peterborough City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education, Skills and the University added: “Term time holidays and late arrival at school are not acceptable. It is unfair on the child and their teachers, disrupts the child’s education and can ultimately be harmful to the child’s progress. Now that schools are fully open again there is no excuse for irregular or incomplete attendance in the classroom.”