Good attendance is directly related to a child’s enjoyment and achievement at school and is vital to promote successful learning. We strive to provide a welcoming and caring environment whereby all members of the school community feel wanted and secure. We all take responsibility for welcoming a child into school and into the classroom, with a smile, whenever they attend.
Persistent or long-term absence has a negative impact in all areas of school life, not just on academic achievement but also on the development of key skills and friendships. Interrupted attendance makes teaching and learning difficult and undermines the educational process leading to educational disadvantage.
We expect all children to be at school, on time, every day the school is open, unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. However, we will challenge the behaviour of children and parents who give low priority to attendance and punctuality.
We understand that children are sometimes reluctant to attend school and that the reasons for this are varied and may be complex. We aim to resolve any problems with regular attendance by making early contact with parents and offering support including referral to the Learning Mentor. Where children are anxious about coming to school, the Learning Mentor can offer practical support and help develop strategies to manage anxiety and encourage attendance.
Our overall aim is to promote a whole community approach to improving attendance and punctuality.
- To improve the overall percentage of children at school.
- To make attendance and punctuality a priority for the whole school community, including parents, staff and children.
- To provide support advice and guidance to parents and children.
- To develop a systematic approach to gathering and analysis of attendance data
- To develop and maintain positive communication between home and school.
- To establish a system of rewards and incentives.
- To work together with the School Attendance Service and other services or agencies
- To recognise individual needs of children who have been absent for a prolonged period and who are returning to school.
What to do if a child is absent from school:
If a child is to be absent from school, parents should report absence by ringing the school office to report the absence. If an absence is expected to continue beyond three days, parents are asked to maintain regular contact with the school to indicate how long the child is likely to remain absent.
When a child returns from an absence, parents should write a note to the teacher explaining the reason for the absence.
Family holidays should be arranged during school holidays. All absence is bad for a child’s education. Due to new Government guidelines, from September 2013 (updated October 2014), the Headteacher cannot authorise any holidays in term time (except in very exceptional circumstances – further information can be found in the school’s ‘Leave of Absence Policy 2013’ on the school website).
Parents must request permission from the Headteacher in advance of the holiday by completing a Holiday Request Form available from the school office. All requests are considered by the Headteacher whose decision it is to authorise the absence or not.
Where a pupil is absent from school without permission of the school, the parent/carer of the pupil may be issued with a £60.00 Penalty Notice per parent per child. If the notice remains unpaid after 21 days the penalty increases to £120.00. If the notice remains unpaid after 28 days the Local Authority may commence proceedings under section 444(1) of the 1996 Education Act in the Magistrates Court.
If children are taken away for a two week holiday every year and have an average number of days off for sickness and appointments, then by the time they leave at sixteen, they will have missed a year of school.
We expect all parents and carers to ensure that children arrive at school on time. The school day starts at 8.45am. The responsibility for lateness and attendance rests with the parent and any concerns are raised with the parent and not with the child.
If a child arrives after 9.00am they will be recorded as late. Registers close at 9.00am and any child arriving after this time is treated as being late after registration which is recorded as an unauthorised absence. Doors are closed promptly at 9.00am. If a child is late for school, the child should be taken to the school office where their attendance can be recorded and any school meals orders taken.
We aim to support parents and carers to help remove any barriers which prevent a child attending school. These could be barriers which the child has or which the parent has. Our starting point is always one of support. In return, we expect parents to contact school at an early stage and to work with us in resolving any problems together. This is nearly always successful and we try to resolve attendance issues within school.
Please do not hesitate to contact school if support is necessary rather than let your child(s) attendance slip even further.