Smithycroft Secondary School

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Nothing is more important to a child’s success at school than regular and punctual attendance. We monitor attendance daily and we pursue all unexplained absences.

Parents will already be aware of their duty to ensure that school-age children attend regularly. Section 30 of the 1980 Education Act lays a duty on every parent of a child of school age to ensure that their child attends school regularly. Attendance is recorded in both the morning and the afternoon.

Regulation 7 of the Education (School and Placing Information) (Scotland) Amendment, etc Regulations 1993 requires each child’s absence from school to be recorded in the school register as authorised, that is approved by the authority, or unauthorised, that is unexplained by the parent (truancy) or temporarily excluded from school.

It would be helpful if, when it is realised that a child is likely to be off school, the parent telephoned the school to let us know or gave a note for the child to bring on his or her return to school, confirming the reason for the absence.

Every effort should be made to avoid taking family holidays during term time as this disrupts the child’s education and reduces learning time. Parents should inform the school by letter before going on holiday. Such absence will only be authorised where the child’s overall attendance is satisfactory. Clearly, when attendance is unsatisfactory, the absence will be unauthorised.

Parents may request that their child be permitted to be absent from school making an extended visit to relatives. Only written requests detailing the destination, the duration and the provision that will be made for their continuing education will be granted and the pupil noted as an authorised absence on the register.

Clearly, when there is no explanation from the parent, the absence is unauthorised.

When a child continues to be absent without explanation, the Education Liason Officer will be asked to call at the home. The authority has the power to investigate cases of non-attendance, and may write to, interview or prosecute parents, or refer pupils to the Reporter to the Children’s Panel.

Smithycroft Secondary operates a ‘Truancy Call’ system wherby parents are alerted to the fact that their child is absent by an automated telephone call.