Attendance Guide for Parents/Carers
As a school we aim to:
- Maintain an attendance rate of a minimum of 96%
- Maintain parents’ and pupils’ awareness of the importance of regular attendance
- Maintain good time keeping
Good attendance is important because:
Statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and poor attendance
Regular attenders make better progress, both socially and academically
Regular attenders find school routines, school work and friendships easier to cope with
Regular attenders find learning more satisfying
Regular attenders settle into secondary school more easily
As a parent you can help us by:
- Ensuring your child attends school regularly. Absence should only happen when your child is significantly ill and therefore unfit to attend school, or if there is an unavoidable/unforeseen reason or circumstance which is causing a difficulty/period of difficulty
- Telephoning on the first morning of any absence to give us the reason and tell us when the child is likely to return to school
- Arranging all non-emergency medical appointments out of school hours or during school holidays
- Providing appointment cards or hospital letters for all appointments during school hours
- Sending us a note confirming the reason for your child’s absence when s/he returns to school
- Frequent absence claimed as illness must be supported by medical evidence.
- Keeping us updated by telephone or letter if your child has any extended period of absence
- Making sure we always have your current contact numbers; this includes all telephone numbers, child minders and emergency contact details
- Follow up unexplained absences by phone calls and letters as necessary
- Remind parents of the importance of regular attendance and punctuality in our letters, the school brochure, parents evenings and pupil annual reports
- Publish our attendance rate on newsletters and the school website
- Acknowledge and reward good attendance and punctuality
- Publish your child’s attendance rate on her/his annual school report
- Let you know if we have concerns regarding your child’s attendance and punctuality
Some absences are allowed by law and are known as “authorised absences”. For example: if a child is ill, family bereavement, religious observance.
There are times when children are absent for reasons, which are not permitted by law. These are known as “unauthorised absences”. Examples of unauthorised absence are:
- Waiting for a delivery
- Taking or collecting a relative to/from the airport
- Going for a family day out
- Sleeping in after a late night
- Going shopping or for a hair cut
- Because it is your child’s birthday
- Term time holiday/Cheap flights/visiting family
- Family weddings
- Parent’s or grandparent’s illness
Where there is no explanation for an absence or where the explanation or reason for the absence is considered unsatisfactory absence will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’. The School Attendance Service may contact you where unauthorised absence continues to be a problem. Unauthorised absence could result in a Fixed Penalty Fine or other legal action.
When your child arrives at school they will be met by their class teacher, if parents/carers need to speak to the teacher this is a good time to arrange a time/day to meet with them. The teacher will take the children into the class and the door in which they enter will be closed at 8.50am. All children should arrive on time, but should they be late, they can enter the school via the late door which is situated near the main office. Any child who enters through this door will then be taken to their classroom. The late door will remain open until 9.10am; all children arriving after this time will need to enter via the main office.
Punctuality is important for children’s attendance. If a child arrives late each day this can have a negative effect on their attitude to the learning which will have already started in the classroom.
If a child arrives 15 minutes late at school each day, they lose almost 2 weeks of education a year. If your child is regularly late a letter will be sent home requesting an improvement. If none is seen parents/carers may be asked to attend a meeting in the school to discuss the seriousness of the impact such lateness is having on your child. Should there be no further improvement the Education Welfare Officer may wish to meet to discuss the amount of late marks your child has.
If your child is late due to a medical appointment we ask that evidence of this is brought to the school office where a copy will be made and kept in the pupils file.
Exceptional Leave - Term Time Leave of Absence
We are always concerned about the amount of school time pupils miss as a result of term time leave. There is no entitlement to time off during term time. Leave of absence is only granted in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Headteacher in accordance with the school policy as agreed by the governing body.
It is our policy:
- Only in an exceptional circumstance will term time leave be allowed. Parents/Carers wishing to apply for leave of absence need to fill in an application form and send it to the Headteacher at least 2 weeks in advance and before booking tickets or making travel arrangements.
- If term time leave is taken without prior permission from the school, the absence will be unauthorised and you may be liable for a fixed-penalty fine.
Please remember that absence for whatever reason disadvantages a child by creating gaps in his/her learning. A good understanding of the work and good progress can only take place when the child is in the classroom regularly and on time.
If your child is leaving our school (other than at the end of Year 6 to go to Secondary School) parents are asked to:
- Give the school comprehensive information about their plans including any date of a move and your new address and telephone numbers, your child’s new school and the start date when known. This should be submitted to our school in writing
When pupils leave and we do not have information, about where they have gone, then your child is considered to be a ‘Child Missing Education’. This means that the Local Authority has a legal duty to carry out investigations, which will include liaising with Children’s Services (formerly Social Services), the Police and other agencies, to try and locate your child.
By giving us the above information, these investigations can be avoided.
How can I help my child attend school regularly?
Talk to your child about school
Take a positive interest in your child’s work, including homework.
Keep in touch with school staff.
Contact school on the first day of absence if your child is unable to attend for whatever reason.
Attend parents’ evenings and other school events
What should I do if I’m worried about my child’s school attendance?
The first thing to do is to contact the school to discuss your concerns with Mr Alcock, Headteacher, your child’s class teacher or Mrs Davis, Attendance Officer.
What are my responsibilities regarding my child’s school attendance?
As a parent/carer it is your responsibility to ensure that any child of compulsory school age attends school both regularly and on time. The local authority has a duty to make sure that all parents/carers fulfil this responsibility.
How will regular school attendance help my child?
School gives your child a wide range of opportunities and experiences in the form of academic lessons, educational trips and school clubs allowing them to develop their interests and achieve their full potential. Regular school attendance means that your child can make the most of their education.