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University of Chester Academies Trust

University CE Academy Ellesmere Port

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Following the recent court hearing please see the letter below regarding holidays during term time.

Fixed Penalty Notice for Unauthorised Holidays Court Outcome - April 2017

There is nothing more important to a child's progress at school than good attendance and punctuality. Students cannot learn if they are not in school or miss work because they are late. For this reason all parents and carers have been given the responsibility in law to make sure that their child attends, on time and prepared to learn.  All our students have the target of 100% attendance. I am sure you are all aware of the increased attention which is being given to this national problem and which has resulted in parents being jailed for their failure to ensure that their children attend the Academy regularly.  We are working with the Local Authority Welfare service to bring about Fixed Penalty Notices to students who have below 93% attendance.  During academic year 2016-2017 13 families were called to court and a number were prosecuted or given conditional discharges.  Legal action is always used a last resort and families will be supported by the Academy, it is only by working together that we can avoid this.

If your child's attendance is 90% this indicates that they are missing half a day a week. Therefore if their attendance is 80%, this indicates they are missing a day a week and missing a fifth of their education.  When your child’s attendance falls below 90% they become a persistent absentee in the government’s statistics.  Prior to this you will be asked to engage in an agreement along with your child and any agency involved with your family to ensure attendance increases.

Unfortunately, poor attendance and punctuality patterns can become a routine for some children so parents/guardians/carers and schools need to work hard together to make sure this does not happen. We have done many things in the past to emphasise the importance of good attendance and punctuality to all students and we continue to introduce new measures. We have introduced lesson by lesson registration to identify those students who truant during the course of the day. We will also be imposing 30 minute LATE DETENTIONS for all students who enter the building after 8.40am those students who are consistently late within the week: will continue through the behaviour system until their punctuality is improved. Every child needs to be in school every day, on time for the start of Lesson 1 at 8.40am.  If your child is late after 9am they will be given an unauthorised absence code for the session and this may result in a 15 day monitoring request being raised with the Local Authority and could end with a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued.   If you have any worries please contact any member of our Home Academy Liaison Team.

If your child is going to be absent due to a medical appointment which cannot be taken out of Academy hours we ask that you provide a copy of the appointment letter so the absence can be coded appropriately.  If your child is ill and needs medical attention we consider it good practice for you to provide MEDICAL EVIDENCE.   We will accept an appointment slip, surgery stamp in their planner, label from any prescribed medication or the back page of the prescription showing their name and date attended appointment. We never ask for you to pay for this, however in some cases we may ask for your consent to contact the surgery for us to confirm appointments.

Absence will only be authorised at the discretion of the Principal.


Although there are 13 weeks of school holidays each year, far too many students are missing school because they are being taken on family holidays in term-time.   Any loss of learning will have an effect on their eventual overall success. In Years 10 & 11 any time lost will almost certainly have an impact on their ability to achieve their best at GCSE. 

Holiday absence is classified in exactly the same way as any other absence and for every five days missed your child’s overall attendance percentage will reduce by 2.5%. Reports on attendance are the most requested piece of information from prospective employers and training institutions when references are requested. 

The Governors have agreed that the school will not authorise any absences for family holidays.  Whilst we recognise the enormous financial pressures associated with family holidays, we have no option but to put your son or daughter’s education and life-chances first.   The vast majority of our parents already fully support this principle and I hope you understand that our motives are in the best interests of your child.  We ask that you advise us in writing of holidays that are to be taken. 

If an unauthorised holiday is taken during term time then a Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued by the Education Welfare Service.