Parents at Portslade school could have to give employer note to take term-time holiday (From The Argus)
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Parents at Portslade school could have to give employer note to take term-time holiday
A headteacher has told parents they could be forced to provide letters from their employees if they wish to take their children on holiday during term time.
Michele Lawrie, of St Peter's Community Infant and Nursery School in Portslade, said she would be requesting parents produce evidence from their bosses that they could not take their holiday entitlement at other time in the year.
This comes after it emerged average attendance for the summer term was 92% compared to 95% for the spring term.
She said she got a “huge shock” when she saw the St Peter's Road school's attendance figure and subsequently issued the warning to parents.
In a letter, taken home with children at the end of last month, she said: “The local authority deems anything below 95% as unsatisfactory, as some of you will know from your children's reports, but when it drops below 92% it becomes a “cause for concern”.
“Next year, we are going to have to be very tough on authorising an absence.
“Some of our neighbouring schools have significantly better attendance than us - West Hove Infants for example has 97% so please, if you are thinking about booking holidays please do not book them in the 190 days that your child should be at school.
“Please book them in the other 175 that are available.
“Next year, it may be necessary to request that people provide a letter from their employer to back up claims that no other holiday was available to them, and those requests for holiday in term time, on the basis of there being exceptional circumstances will have to be truly exceptional.”
Yesterday no one was available for comment at the school.
A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “It is for individual headteachers to determine whether or not they will authorise a request for a child to be absent from school for the purpose of a family holiday.
“The guidance from the Department for Education on attendance has changed. The amendments make clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
“Headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.”
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