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 secure and ready to learn.
Persistent or long-term absence has a negative impact on academic achievement and also on friendships. Attendance which is poor or interrupted 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. 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/carers and offering support including referral to the Pastoral Care Manager.
Our overall aim is to promote a whole community approach to improving attendance and punctuality.
- To improve the overall attendance percentage of children at school.
- To make attendance and punctuality a priority for the whole school community, including parents/carers, staff and children.
- To provide support advice and guidance to parents/carers 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
What to do if a child is absent from school:
If a child is to be absent from school, parents/carers should report absence by ringing the school office before 9.30am to report the absence. When a child returns from an absence, parents/carers should write a note to the teacher explaining the reason for the absence.
There are 190 statutory school days in one year. That means there are 175 days (weekends & school holidays) available to use for holidays!
There is no entitlement to time off in school time to go on holiday. Headteachers cannot authorise any leave in term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Any period taken without agreement of the school, or in excess of that agreed, will be classed as unauthorised and may attract a Penalty Notice. Family holidays should be arranged during school holidays. Parents/carers must request permission from the Headteacher in advance of the holiday by completing a Holiday Request Form available from the school office.
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.
A 2 week holiday in school time means your child has approximately 50 hours of missed work to catch up on! 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 doors open at 8.40am and the school day starts at 8.50am. The responsibility for lateness and attendance rests with the parent/carer. Doors are closed promptly at 8.50am. If a child is late for school, the child should be taken to the school office where they must be signed in on the electronic system by an adult 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/carer has. Our starting point is always one of support. In return, we expect parents/carers 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.
The School Attendance Service visits school regularly and will follow up any cases where difficulties remain unresolved. The School Attendance Officer will also try to resolve the situation by agreement but, if other ways of trying to improve the child’s attendance have failed, these Officers can use court proceedings to prosecute parents/carers or to seek an Education Supervision Order. The maximum penalty on conviction is a fine of £2,500 and/or 3 months imprisonment.
Alternatively, parents/carers may wish to contact the School Attendance Service themselves to ask for help or information. They are independent of the school and will give impartial advice. Their telephone number is available from the school office or by contacting the Local Education Authority.
Rewards and Incentives
Good attendance is also promoted and encouraged by:
- Celebrating attendance and punctuality in weekly whole school assemblies in KS1 and KS2 and awarding Attendance Trophies.
- Raising awareness of good attendance.
- Attendance displays in school
- Rewarding pupils with good attendance
- Providing reward systems for any pupil defined to have made a special effort in attendance
- Targeted Attendance incentives for EYFS, KS1 and KS2
- 100% attendance rewarded each term
- Children who achieve 100% attendance over the whole school year receive a medal for excellent attendance
- Attendance and Punctuality Diaries
- Attendance competitions with prize draws for individual children and family prizes
- Meeting with parent/carers who are concerned that their child may be experiencing difficulties which may hinder their child’s attendance at school
- Working in partnership with the local authority through initiatives such as Attendance and Punctuality Assemblies.
- Attendance Groupwork for individual classes
- Meeting with Head Teacher, Pastoral Care Manager and Governors when applicable