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Attendance

At The Russell School, we aim to ensure that all children are able to take full advantage of the opportunities available to them in order to reach their full potential by promoting regular attendance and punctuality.

As an effective school, we wish to convey our positive regard for regular attendance to parents, children and staff. We expect all children on roll to attend school for the full 190 days of the academic year, as long as they are fit and well enough to do so, and to arrive on time.

We very much acknowledge the important part played by our community in contributing to the continued success of our school. In the past, The Russell School has offered a flexible and sympathetic approach to requests for absence during term time. However, it is important for parents to understand that Government and Ofsted policy provide strict guidelines on term time absence and schools are required to keep detailed records of the reasons why children are absent. This data is then evaluated as part of a school’s inspection and has an impact on its overall grading.

The school is no longer able to authorise term time holidays and other occasional days absence. The Headteacher will only authorise absence from school in special or exceptional circumstances.

For your information, there are two types of absence:

Authorised absence

An absence is classified as authorised when a child is away from school for a legitimate reason, the school has received notification from a parent, carer or guardian and the school has approved the absence. For example, if a child is unwell and the parent writes a note or telephones the school to explain the absence.

Only the school can authorise an absence. Parents do not have this authority. Consequently, not all absences supported by parents will be classified as authorised. For example, if a parent takes a child out of school to go shopping during school hours; this will not be an authorised absence.

Unauthorised absence

An absence is classified as unauthorised when a child is away from school without the permission of both the school and a parent, carer or guardian or when a child is away from school without a legitimate reason, even with the support of a parent.

Parents wishing to remove their child from school during term time must now complete a Leave of Absence Form which is available from the school office and can also be downloaded from the website. This may be followed up with an appointment to meet with the Headteacher.

What Can Parents Do To Help?

  • Let the school know as soon as possible why your child is away, if possible on the morning of the first day of absence
  • Send a written note when your child returns to school clearly explaining the reason for absence even if you have given a verbal reason to a member of staff
  • Please make appointments (e.g. medical, dental) outside of school time unless it is urgent
  • Do not allow your child to have time off school unless it is really necessary
  • Leave plenty of travel time in the morning to ensure your child is punctual

We would like to assure parents that requests for a leave of absence will be carefully considered, particularly with an international school community such as ours.