Weekly Newsletter – 21 April 2017


  Posted by: Debbie Rutter on April 24, 2017 at 8:56 pm


Newsletter 21st April 2017 

Thank you 

To everyone who came to help to clean and paint the school during the holidays. It was a great day and the school is now looking much better. Thank you also, to the local ‘handyman’, Tony, who has almost completed the school defects log, I am really grateful for the support. I am pleased to inform you that Mr. Pugh has now returned to work.

Water Bottles 

We are asking the children to take home their water bottles daily, to be cleaned.

The Selfish Giant 

The children enjoyed a wonderful workshop/production by the Image Theatre Company this week, it was lovely to see the whole school together enjoying themselves.

Kids Club 

Kids Club is available on Thursday 4th May, please contact Kathy McIntyre.

General Election- Thursday 8th June 2017 

As school is used as a polling station, school will be closed this day. Kids Club will be available.

Mental Health First Aid 

Our school is ‘Mental Health First Aid trained. As such we liaise with and can refer into Visyon http://www.visyon.org.uk/parents as well as promoting NHS/CAMHS http://www.mymind.org.uk/

This year we have continued to offer support for our families through this service, booked transition and resilience for our year 6 children, in the summer term, to support their transition to High School.

For your information, next week, Visyon are running parent support groups which may be of benefit. The sessions are called ‘Parent Empower Hour’. They start on Wednesday 26th April 2017 at Fellowship House, Congleton from 6pm to 7pm.

Full details can be found at : http://www.visyon.org.uk/parents

Unauthorised Leave of Absence- update 

Please see below information regarding the recent Judgment of the Supreme Court below.

The Judgment of the Supreme Court has finally been released. The Council in this case had appealed the decision of the lower Court which had ruled in favour of the parent. The appeal was allowed and the matter will now go back to the Magistrates’ Court where the parent will have to show if he can argue one of the existing statutory defences to avoid being convicted. The Court, in considering the point has gone back to look at the history of what the legislation over a number of years was trying to achieve. They acknowledge that there are sound policy reasons for not allowing term time holidays and that ultimately the legal position remains as it was. Unless there are exceptional circumstances a term time holiday is contrary to s.444(1) of the Education Act 1996 and a fixed penalty notice can be issued accordingly.

The Local Authority will be resuming the issuing of fixed penalty notices for any unauthorised absence taken from the beginning of the Autumn Term (September 2017 onwards). The amount of the penalty is £60 per parent/carer per child if paid within 21 days. If the payment is after 21 days but within a maximum 28 days, the penalty payment is £120 per parent/carer. If the fixed penalty notice remains unpaid, the file is passed to the Authorities Legal Services and the parent/carer could get prosecuted in the Magistrates Court. 

Exceptional Circumstances for Authorised Leave of Absence 

I am often asked what are ‘exceptional circumstances’ for authorising leave of absence. Please see the guidance below.

1. The decision to authorise absence is at the head teacher’s discretion based on their assessment of the situation. Circumstances vary from school to school and so there can be no absolute rules on this subject.

2. Term times are for education. This is the priority. Children and families have 175 days off school to spend time together, including weekends and school holidays. Heads will rightly prioritise attendance. The default school policy should be that absences will not be granted during term time and will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances.

3. If an event can reasonably be scheduled outside of term time then it would not be normal to authorise absence.

4. Absence during term time for holidays/vacations is therefore not considered an exceptional circumstance.

5. Absences to visit family members are also not normally granted during term time if they could be scheduled for holiday periods or outside school hours. Children may however need time to visit seriously ill relatives.

6. Absence for a bereavement of a close family member is usually considered an exceptional circumstance but for the funeral service only, not extended leave.

7. Absences for important religious observances are often taken into account but only for the ceremony and travelling time, not extended leave. This is intended for one off situations rather than regular or recurring events.

8. Schools may wish to take the needs of the families of service personnel into account if they are returning from long operational tours that prevent contact during scheduled holiday time.

9. Schools have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for students with special educational needs or disabilities.

10. Families may need time together to recover from trauma or crisis.

Official forms are available at the office and on the website for completion for holiday and exceptional circumstances absence requests. All requests must be submitted via the official form and not by email or verbally please.

If you need further clarification, please don’t hesitate to come and see me.

SMARTIES CHALLENGE 2017 

Your child will soon be bringing home a packet of Smarties for them to enjoy over the Easter break… But please don’t throw away the tubes once the Smarties are finished, as this is where the fun starts!!

The aim of the game is for the children to fill their empty Smarties tubes with as many 20 pence pieces as they can, to raise money for our school. The children can then add their names and their Team Colour on the tube label.

The winning team with the most 20 pence pieces will be awarded a non-uniform day in recognition of their efforts!!

Please return all tubes to school by Friday 28th April.

I hope you have a lovely weekend. 

Mrs Dean