Our aim is to work with parents to ensure that all our students receive the most from their education and reach their full potential.

You must contact us by 8am on each day your child is absent from school.

At Vista Academy Littleport, we understand there are occasionally legitimate reasons why your child may not be able to attend school, such as due to illness or unforeseen family circumstances. If your child is unable to attend school, please inform school by 8:00am each morning your child is absent, using one of the following methods:

When reporting an absence, please ensure that you provide:

  • Your child’s name
  • Their year group and tutor group
  • The reason for the absence

If the student is absent and a notification of absence has not been received from the parent/carer, the school will record an unauthorised absence.

If your child requires a leave of absence during the school day, a written note must be provided to the school in advance by completing the Leave of Absence form which can be found here. 

You can access the Attendance policy in our Policy Bank.

Requesting term time absence

IMPORTANT:  Please read carefully the information below.

The law does not grant parents/carers an automatic right to take their children out of school during term time. If the request is for an absence in term time you must have Parental Responsibility and be the parent/carer with whom the child normally lives. Permission must be sought in advance.  If the circumstances relating to this request are considered exceptional and the absence is authorised by the school, the authorising of the absences will be conditional on the child’s(ren’s) attendance being satisfactory up to the date covered by this request. 

Warning: If the school refuses your request and the child is still taken out of school, this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.  A significant amount of unauthorised absence may make you liable to a Penalty Notice for each child, payable by each parent/carer, or the subject of court proceedings which could result in a fine of up to £2,500 and/or a term of imprisonment of up to 3 months.

Avoidable absence in term time

Warning: If you allow your child to miss school in term time for an avoidable reason without obtaining the prior approval of the school, you may be issued with a Penalty Notice* per parent per child, or made the subject of court proceedings under section 444 Education Act 1996.

As a parent/carer, you can demonstrate your commitment to your child’s education by not allowing your child to miss school for anything other than an exceptional and unavoidable reason.

The Facts

School aged pupils in maintained schools are expected to attend punctually on the 190 days that the school is open. Whilst there are a number of unavoidable reasons why a pupil might be away from school (illness, medical appointments, exclusions etc), the legislation is clear that any avoidable absence may only be authorised by a school if there are exceptional circumstances.

What you should consider

Research suggests that children who are taken out of school may never catch up on the learning they have missed. This may affect test results and can be particularly harmful if the child is studying for final year examinations.

Children who struggle with English or Mathematics may also find it even harder to cope when they return to school, while younger children may find it difficult to renew friendships with their classmates.

If the school is unable to authorise the absence and the child is still taken out of school, this will be recorded as unauthorised absence and you may receive a £60* fine per parent for each child.

The Law

The law allows schools to consider individual requests to authorise a future avoidable absence. However before the school can authorise any such requests, they must satisfy themselves that there are exceptional circumstances which justify such a decision. It is entirely the responsibility of the parent submitting the request to provide sufficient information/evidence in order to establish this fact. The request for leave must come from a parent with whom the child normally resides

If a child then stays away from school for more than the authorised period this must be recorded as unauthorised absence and could be quoted in a prosecution for poor attendance.

If the child is away from school for a total of four weeks or more, the school may have the option to take the child off roll subject to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006.

In the case of unexpected extended absence, it is advisable that the parent fully informs the school as to the reasons. If a child is removed from roll, there is no guarantee that the child will regain a place at the school.

*Penalty Notice £60 if paid within 21 days, increasing to £120 if paid after 21 days and before 28 days

Unavoidable absence from school will be authorised if it is for the following reasons:

  • Genuine illness
  • Unavoidable medical / dental appointments (but try to make these after school if at all possible)
  • Days of religious observance
  • Seeing a parent who is on leave from the armed forces
  • External examinations
  • When Traveller children go on the road with their parents

Other examples of absence from school that will not be authorised:

  • Any type of shopping
  • Looking after siblings or unwell parents
  • Minding the house
  • Birthdays
  • Resting after a late night
  • Relatives visiting or visiting relatives

Please contact your child’s principal/headteacher if you wish to discuss this issue.

The law requires parents to ensure their children receive an efficient full time education, and every minute of every day is important.  Please help them not to miss any of this valuable time.

We hope that when you have read this information you will consider that your child’s education is too important to allow them to miss school for avoidable reasons.

Absence Request Form

I wish to apply to have an ‘unavoidable’ absence authorised, for: 

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