School Attendance and Pupil Welfare
Pembrokeshire Pupil Development Grant Access PLUS
Pembrokeshire Pupil Development Grant Plus is a scheme to help parents in difficult circumstances with school uniforms.
From April 2019, we will offer a grant of up to £125 per statutory School age pupil for:
- School uniform including coats and shoes.
- School sports kit including footwear.
- Uniform for enrichment activities, including but not limited to, scouts; guides; cadets; martial arts; sports; performing arts or dance.
- Equipment e.g. school bags and stationery.
- Specialist equipment where new curriculum activities begin such as design and technology.
- Equipment for out of school hour’s trips such as outdoor learning e.g. waterproofs.
This is not an exhaustive list, and there is some discretion about what could be funded – but it must be something that will support the achievement of the child. Decisions on applications will be made by the Pupil Support Officer for your school.
Examples of difficult circumstances may include:
- Families experiencing moving over to Universal Credit and experience significant delays in receiving benefit payments.
- Loss of possessions due to an event beyond your control such as fire or flood.
- A child who has to move schools at short notice at the advice of the Local Authority.
Other assistance for low-income households
There are other limited potential sources of financial help:
- Parents receiving Income Support
- Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance,
- Pension Credit
or payment on account of one of these benefits or entitlements for at least 26 weeks may be able to apply for a social fund budgeting loan under the category of clothing and footwear from Jobcentre Plus. Claimants currently claiming Universal Credit can apply for a Budgeting Advance.
Help may be available from governing bodies or parents' associations of schools. This may be financial support from a hardship fund, a savings scheme or through the provision of second-hand clothing.
Pupil Development Grant Access
If you are enquiring about a school uniform for the new academic year starting in September 2022, the application process has changed.
We are awaiting final details from Welsh Government but expect grants to be available from late July.
You are no longer be required to submit an application form; we will make an automatic payment to all eligible families.
For more info: SUGS@Pembrokeshire.gov.uk
As a parent/carer you have a role to play in helping your child to learn to understand and cope with the positive and negative sides of friendships and socialising, both online and offline. You can help your child to learn to stay safe and happy and to treat others with respect and kindness. You are often the first to notice if your child is not acting like themselves, is unhappy or appears aggressive.
Parents/carers can feel a range of emotions when discovering that their child is being bullied or is bullying others. While initial feelings may include upset, anger, sadness and guilt, it is important to remember that there is a way forward.
We expect parents/carers and their children to work with schools to prevent and challenge bullying.
Pembrokeshire County Council define bullying as;
‘Behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, which intentionally hurts others either physically or emotionally’
Bullying is a form of unacceptable behaviour, but not all unacceptable behaviour is bullying. Bullying usually has three key elements, and can take place face-to-face or online:
It is intentional or deliberate hurtful behaviour.
It is repeated behaviour that usually happens over a period of time.
The person or people being bullied feel powerless to defend themselves.
Types of bullying
Bullying can take many forms, including:
- being called nasty names, teased, made fun of, threatened or put down
- being hit, kicked, punched, tripped up or knocked over
- having belongings stolen or deliberately damaged
- having rumours or gossip spread about you or people talking about you behind your back
- being left out, excluded or isolated
- being forced to do something you don’t want to do or that you know is wrong.
Online bullying is bullying behaviour that is displayed through technology such as mobile/smart phones or the internet. This could include:
- hurtful, embarrassing or threatening material posted online (e.g. on social media)
- nasty messages sent as text messages, e-mails or via other websites or apps
- being excluded from an online game or chat forum
- fake profiles on a social network to make fun of others
- misuse of intimate explicit images of the person targeted (the target).
Prejudice-related bullying is when the bullying is focused on what is different about a person’s identity. It can be targeted at one person or a whole group of people because they are thought to be different, whether this is true or not. This is known as prejudice.
Prejudice-related bullying involves aspects of a person’s identity such as:
- religion or beliefs
- culture or family background
- gender identity – the way someone looks or acts
- sexual orientation – whether someone is heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual (who someone is attracted to)
- sex – because of someone’s gender (often in a form of harassment).
When is it not bullying?
The following examples are examples of unacceptable behaviour but are not examples of bullying:
- a disagreement or ‘falling out’
- an argument or one-off fight
- relationship issues where children or young people need to learn how to get along better
- someone being ‘nasty’ with unkind or disrespectful words or action.
All unacceptable behaviour must be challenged, whether bullying or not.
What can you do to help?
There are lots of things you can do as a parent/carer to support your child, the guidance linked below gives you ideas about how to talk to your child about bullying, how to spot the signs, how you can help them and how to build your child’s confidence and self-esteem. The guidance also gives information about dealing with bullying online, it covers coping with the effects of bullying and managing your own feelings and actions
What can you expect from your child’s school
Schools have a duty of care to protect all their learners and provide a safe, healthy environment.
All schools must, by law have a school behaviour policy. We expect schools to also have an anti-bullying policy setting out how they will address bullying in their school. Your child’s school’s anti-bullying policy or its school behaviour policy, should set out the stages for you to report a bullying concern. These policies should be available on their website or you can request a copy directly from the school.
You will need to refer to your child’s school’s policy for specific details of their reporting stages but below are the general stages which you will need to complete in writing. You should complete all steps in order; allowing the school suitable time and opportunity to put in place action to remedy the situation and giving the action time to take effect. It may not be possible to completely resolve the situation immediately, but you should feel confident that timely action is being taken; if not, move to the next stage in the process.
Step 1 – report to the class teacher/form teacher/head of year
Step 2 – report to the headteacher
Step 3 – report to the school governing body
Step 4 – report to the local authority
At every step, keep a diary or event log of all contact you have made and received, making a note of:
- who you spoke to
- how you contacted them (e.g. by phone, email, face to face etc.)
- when (date/time)
- what actions were agreed and who was responsible for these actions.
Please note: You should not take to social media to complain about the school or insult, offend or threaten individual school staff. It may cause more harm but it will not resolve the issue. Remember, schools have a duty of care to their own staff as well as to your child. In severe cases, legal or other action may be taken by the school against you if you endanger staff.
You should also not take matters into your own hands and attempt to tackle other children or young people involved in the incident or their families, be this in person or via social media or other online platforms.
Child Employment and Child Performance
Pembrokeshire County Council believes that children of compulsory school age can benefit from experience gained in undertaking work, providing that this work is suitable and there are proper safeguards in place. The official date for leaving school is the last Friday in June in the school year in which the pupil is 16. Before this date children between the ages of 13 and 16 must have an employment permit from the Council if they wish to be employed.
The Council has a set of byelaws setting out the conditions under which children of compulsory school age may be employed. These legal provisions include requiring the employer to send to the Council notification of the child’s employment with certain details being required in that regard.
The notification application form must be completed by a parent and the employer, and submitted to the Principal Education Welfare Officer within the Education Welfare Service for consideration.
The Council will only then issue an employment permit for the child, if it is satisfied that the proposed employment is lawful, the child’s health welfare and ability to take full advantage of his/her education would not be jeopardised, and the child is fit to undertake the work for which he/she is to be employed.The child may be employed only in accordance with the details shown on his/her employment permit.
Child Employment guides for employers, parents and pupils and the Notification Application Form can be downloaded from the links below. The byelaws can be obtained on request from the Principal Education Welfare Officer.
Cara Huggins, Principal Education Welfare Officer
Children and Schools Directorate,
Pembrokeshire County Council
The legislation governing children in entertainment covers children from birth to statutory school leaving age (the last Friday in June of the school year in which a child reaches 16 years of age).
The requirement to licence:
The legislation requires Performance licences to be issued by each Local Authority to children who take part in the following categories:
- A live broadcast or recorded performance for example, a television or radio programme or film.
- A theatre performance where a charge is made
- Any performance on licensed premises
- Child modelling and sport where the child or any other person is paid (other than payment for expenses)
The person responsible for the production of the performance in which a child is taking part is the person who should make the application for the licence.
The application must be made to Pembrokeshire County Council who will process the application.
When does a child NOT need a licence to perform?
- If the child performs for only 4 days in any 6 month period and they do not need time off school to undertake the performance
- If a child takes part in their full time school performance (this is an educational school not a school of dance).
- Performances put on by a ‘Body of Persons'
- Any activity that the Local Authority does not consider to be a performance such as a child being interviewed or filmed whilst taking part in some normal activity not specifically arranged for the purpose such as doing school lessons, playing in the park
- If the activity is directed in any way it may be reviewed and converted into a performance.
If a Child Performance Licence is not required we still request that the organiser of the performance/show register all children taking part. This allows us to keep a register of all Pembrokeshire children taking part in a performance. Even if a licence is not required most of the rules and regulations still apply.
Completed application forms together with all documentation needs to be submitted to the Business Support Unit, 21 days prior to the date for which they are required. The Local Authority must be satisfied that arrangements for the supervision and protection of the child are adequate and that the disruption to the child's education is kept to a minimum, prior to granting a licence. The person who applies for the licence will be the licence holder and will be responsible for ensuring the conditions of the licence are met.
Additional information, the criteria for licensing and further advice can be obtained by emailing email@example.com
If you need to speak to someone regarding Child Performance Licensing, you can contact Youth Admin on 01437 775813.
This notice explains why we collect and keep your personal information, how your information is used and what we do with the information we collect.
Penalty Notices for Regular Non-Attendance at School/Alternative Education Provision
In 2013, the Welsh Ministers made the Education (Penalty Notices) (Wales) Regulations.
The regulations say that a Council must have a Code of Conduct that sets out measures to ensure consistency in the issuing of penalty notices.
What is a Penalty Notice?
A penalty notice is one of the interventions available to promote better school attendance. A child that attends school regularly will benefit more from the opportunities that school provides than a child that does not attend school regularly.
Where the circumstances for issuing a penalty notice are met, a penalty notice can be issued to a parent whose child fails to attend school/alternative education provision regularly.
A penalty notice offers a parent the opportunity of discharging any liability to conviction for an offence under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996* which is specified in the notice, by payment of a penalty in accordance with that notice. (*Section 444 of the Education Act includes provision that if a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, his parent is guilty of an offence).
Penalty notices can apply in respect of children who are compulsory school age. PCC will therefore not use penalty notices for nursery age children or pupils who are in a sixth form (years 12 and 13).
If a penalty notice is issued, the penalty is £60 if paid within 28 days of receipt of the notice. This rises to £120 if paid after 28 days but within 42 days of receipt of the notice.
Pembrokeshire's Code of Conduct for Penalty Notices Irregular Attendance at School/Alternative Education Provision.
Authorised / Unauthorised Absence
A school's head teacher or another person in the school who is authorised on behalf of the school, has the responsibility to decide whether or not a pupil's absence should be authorised. Welsh Government has produced guidance to help this decision making.
Holidays in term time
It is important that your child attends school regularly throughout the term in order to gain the maximum benefit from the education provided. Any applications for leave for a holiday during term time made by a parent with whom the pupil normally resides, will be considered on an individual basis by the head teacher or another person in the school who is authorised in that behalf, and it is at their discretion as to whether or not to authorise the absence. Save in exceptional circumstances, the pupil must not be granted more than ten school days leave for that purpose in any school year.
Who can issue a Penalty Notice?
Only the Local Authority should issue fixed penalty notices in accordance with the Code of Conduct.
If the police or a school asks PCC to issue a penalty notice, PCC will review all the paperwork provided and an authorised officer will decide if it is appropriate to issue a penalty notice.
This is to ensure that a consistent approach is used for issuing penalty notices.
When will a Penalty Notice be issued?
The Code of Conduct sets out the circumstances for issuing a penalty notice, setting out that the key criteria should be as follows:
When a pupil has a minimum of 10 sessions (five school days) that have been lost due to unauthorised absences during the current term and this brings the pupil's overall attendance to below 90% in the school year to date (these absences do not have to be consecutive).
*unauthorised absences include:-
-unauthorised non-attendance at school;
-unauthorised holidays in term-time; and
-unauthorised late arrival after registration has closed.
Education Welfare Service
It starts in school
Success, creativity, friendship, resilience, support… it starts in school.
When children miss school, they miss more than classes – they’re missing important social and development opportunities that will shape their future. Because school is more than grades, timetables, and homework – it’s friendships, shared memories, and character building.
Regular attendance is more important than ever.
With access to free school meals, life-changing support and so much more, there’s a lot more to school than education. But we know that school isn’t always easy. If your child is anxious or worried about coming to school, help is available.
If your child is missing school for whatever reason, we’re here for you. Talk to your school or call us on 01437 764551 for the support your child needs.
Want to get involved in our campaign to get children back into school? Follow us on social media for the latest news and read inspiring stories about how school shaped the lives of people from Pembrokeshire, and what success looks like to them. Don’t forget to share your own experiences using the hashtag #ItStartsInSchool.
Education Welfare Officers
Education Welfare Service
The Education Welfare Service offers advice and guidance to primary and secondary schools and families across Pembrokeshire for pupils who do not attend school on a regular basis and a child's level of absence reaches over 15%.
The service comprises of an Education Welfare Officer (EWO) within each cluster of schools. Support is provided to improve school attendance in order for children to reach their best potential and support families where needed.
The EWO provide practical support to improve school attendance rates; reduce unauthorised absences; and to assist schools in the management of vulnerable children and young people.
Education Welfare Officers
All schools in Pembrokeshire are served by one of a team of Education Welfare Officers who provide a link between the school family, the Education Service and the families of pupils.
The Education Welfare Officers main task is to encourage regular attendance at school. The Education Welfare Officer is able to offer advice and information to assist parents with their role in ensuring their child attends school. They can also advise about other support services when there is an identified problem restricting a pupil's access to education, or in relation to social and welfare issues.
The service can also give advice on the restrictions and regulations relating to the employment of children of compulsory school age.
The Inclusion Service Education Welfare Officers can provide information booklets to parents regarding school attendance issues and their responsibilities to ensure regular school attendance according to the law; the Pupil Support Officers assist parents to fulfil this role.
The Education Welfare Officers can be accessed via the school or the Education Service at County Hall.
For further information please contact:
Principal Education Welfare Officer
Tel: 01437 775022
This notice explains why we collect and keep your personal information, how your information is used and what we do with the information we collect.
Safeguarding is Everybody`s Business and if you or others have concerns about the safety or welfare of a child, young person or adult it is your responsibility to act on those concerns.
Record the concerns in writing and pass them on to the Child Care Assessment Team OR the Adult Safeguarding Team without delay.
- The child or adults name
- Date of birth
- What the concern is
- Name and contact details of the referrer
If in doubt you can contact the Child Care Assessment Team or Adult Safeguarding Team to seek advice.
Never assume someone else will report your concerns. Take positive action and report it immediately. Children or adults at risk should not be expected to take responsibility for themselves or others.
- If the person is physically injured call for medical attention.
- Listen and keep on listening
- Don’t question
- Avoid passing judgement on what you are told
- Never promise confidentiality
- Explain what you are doing and don’t delay taking action
- Contact the Adult Safeguarding Team or Child Care Assessment Team
- Write down the contents of your conversation as soon as possible.
This is a quick guide and not a substitute for the National Protection Procedures. Make sure you are familiar with the policies to which you are working.
Child Care Assessment Team: 01437 776444
Adult Safeguarding Team: 01437 776056
Social Services out of Hours: 0300 333 2222
In an emergency ring 999
Other Useful Telephone Numbers:-
NSPCC: 0808 8005000
Childline: 0800 1111
Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 8010800
Care Inspectorate Wales: 0300 7900126
Family Holidays during Term Time
It is important that your child attends school regularly throughout the term in order to gain the maximum benefit from the education provided. Any applications for leave for a holiday during term time made by a parent with whom the pupil normally resides, will be considered on an individual basis by the head teacher or another person in the school who is authorised on behalf of the school, and it is at their discretion as to whether or not to authorise the absence. Save in exceptional circumstances, the pupil must not be granted more than ten school days leave for that purpose in any school year.
For further information on term time holidays, please contact your child's designated school.
For other issues relating to school attendance please contact:
Caroline (Cara) Huggins,
Lead Officer for Attendance
Children and Schools,
Haverfordwest. SA61 1TP
Tel: 01437 775022
Children Missing from Education (CME)
There are many reasons why children and young people disappear from the education system and are at risk of ‘going missing'. These range from failing to start in a new school or appropriate education provision to simply not re-registering at a new school when they move into the country.
The Education and Inspections Act 2006 places a statutory duty on local authorities in England and Wales to make arrangements to identify children and young people of compulsory school age (aged between 5 and 16) missing education within their area.
If you think a child and/or young person is missing from education (in whatever capacity), please inform the Education Service.
You do not have to give us your personal details but if you do these details will be treated with the utmost confidence and not revealed to anyone other than Education Officers responsible for dealing with children missing from education.