A call for help here – maybe an #opendata wizard or a #foi genius. In England, or with access to English education and/or council open data.
This is the situation:
It’s my feeling that since the September 2013 changes in Pupil Registration (England) legislation, councils and schools are both feeling obliged/encouraged by central government to outlaw compassionate leave. I’d like to find out whether unauthorised absences up to four days long – the fifth day would currently incur a fixed penalty notice – have risen since the introduction of the new legislation/are beginning to rise.
It’s my experience that institutions unofficially prefer parents to take unauthorised leaves of absence instead of allowing authorised compassionate leave. I’d like to assess if this is a wider experience. It’s an important issue because if it is the case and other families have suffered the same behaviours, the government will be getting the impression that gratuitous and unjustified unauthorised leaves of absence are on the rise – when in fact the reality is that more and more education institutions are denying all compassionate leave under any circumstances, as they let it be known between the lines that a four-day absence goes essentially unpunished.
Many thanks in advance if you have read thus far. Please comment below, use the Contact page or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with any observations.