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Pupil support and safeguarding

 
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NAHT members are at the forefront of safeguarding children. School leaders are committed to keeping children safe, so they can learn well. NAHT believes that all pupils should receive the support they need to maintain their well-being and achieve their potential, both within school and from wider services including health and social care.

NAHT is campaigning to:

Enable schools to play their part in supporting pupils' well-being

  • Lobby for pupils and schools to get the support they need from wider services including health, social care, police and youth services
  • Influence the implementation of the proposals from the mental health green paper, including the senior lead for mental health and mental health support teams
  • Support schools to access relevant, high-quality training and resources to enable pupils to exercise their right to support for their mental well-being.

 

Support schools to safeguard and protect pupils

  • Engage with the DfE over proposed changes to the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Influence changes to Keeping Children Safe In Education, Working Together and Sexual Violence and harassment guidance
  • Campaign to improve online safety for children and young people
  • Press the government to ensure home educated children are adequately safeguarded
  • Promote guidance and resources to support schools to protect children at risk of harm including involvement with violence and other crime.

 

Enable schools to support vulnerable groups of pupils

  • Campaign to ensure pupils with SEND can receive the support they need from schools and wider services
  • Press for improved alternative provision and collaborative approaches across communities to support pupils excluded from school
  • Provide information to schools to help them to support disadvantaged children
  • Enable schools to make informed decisions regarding parental requests to home educate
  • Ensure reforms to behaviour guidance and networks is evidence-based and appropriate for all schools and a diverse pupil population. 
 

Guidance on authorised term-time pupil absence

 
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On matters relating to term-time pupil absences, the Education (pupil registration) (England) (amendment) Regulations 2013, which came into force on 1 September 2013, removed all references to ‘family holidays’ and ‘extended leave’ as well as the ‘notional threshold of 10 school days’. 

The 2013 amendments made it clear that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless ‘exceptional circumstances’ prevail. 

The regulations also state that head teachers should determine the number of school days a pupil can be away from school if they grant a leave request because of ‘exceptional circumstances’. 

 

We believe the guidelines in this document are compatible with the amendments and help to clarify the meaning of ‘exceptional circumstances’; they do not change it. Head teachers can authorise a pupil’s absence during term time, but the merits of such a request are now required to be exceptional. 

 
First published 15 May 2021