Attendance Support

Good attendance is vital to a child’s success in education. Birch Wood Special School recognises that poor attendance is often an indication of difficulties in a child’s life. This may be related to problems at home and/or in school. We want to work in partnership with Parents and Carers to help students with all needs to have the best attendance possible.

We ask that Parents and Carers make school aware of any difficulties or changes in circumstances that may affect their child/ren’s attendance and/or behaviour in school. For example, illness, bereavement, divorce/separation, incidents of domestic abuse. This will help the school identify any additional support that may be required, this may include involvement of the Home School Link Worker, Health and Well-Being Officers, the School Nurse, therapists or referrals to external support agencies. 

Please see our Attendance Policy for more information:

Times of the School Day

The times of our school day vary between sites, this allows transport to drop off and collect at both sites

Students at Birch Wood Vale start at 8.50am and finish at 3.20pm .

Students at our Main Site on Grange Drive start at 9.00am and finish at 3.30pm.


Information for Parents

The Local Authority is committed to ensuring that all children benefit from maximising the educational opportunities available.  Regular school attendance is a crucial factor in realising this aim.

Taking holidays during term time can have a detrimental affect on educational progress and achievement because pupils may:

  • Get behind in their school work.
  • Get lower results in assignments, test or examinations because of missed work.
  • Miss tests, examinations or deadlines for assignments.
  • May not understand some new work on their return.

What the Regulations say:

Under Regulation 7 of the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006, the head teacher, or a person authorised by the head teacher, has a discretionary power for leave to be granted for the purpose of an annual family holiday if there are special circumstances relating to that application.

You should be aware that if you take your child on holiday in term time without the authorisation of your child’s Head Teacher you may be issued with a Penalty Notice.

Penalty Notices

What is a Penalty Notice?

The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 introduced new legislation that made provision for Local Authorities to issue Penalty Notices.  These notices require a fine to be paid by parents of pupils who have unauthorised absence from school.

A Penalty Notice could be issued in the following circumstances:

  • Where a holiday is taken during term time without the authorisation of the Head Teacher or his/her representative.
  • Where a pupil has unauthorised absence from school and their parent/carer fails to co-operate with school staff and the Attendance Improvement Service to improve the situation.

What are the Penalties?

If a Penalty Notice is issued the penalty is £50 when payment is made within 28 days of receipt of the notice.  After 28 days it will increase to £100.  Failure to pay within 40 days of receipt of the notice will result in summons for the parent/carer(s) to appear before the Magistrates Court for failing to secure their child’s regular attendance at school.

The Attendance Improvement Service

The Attendance Improvement Service works closely with schools, families and pupils to assist with school attendance problems.  The Attendance Improvement Service is also the enforcement arm of the local authority and has delegated responsibility to issue Penalty Notices and prosecute parents in the Magistrates Court for failing to secure their child’s regular attendance.

If you are having difficulties ensuring that your child attends school regularly, you should talk to school staff.  Do this sooner rather than later.