We want to work with parents and carers to improve our whole school attendance. Please see below for some clarity regarding our attendance procedures in response to key questions I have received from parents and carers recently.
‘Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential is an assumption so widely understood that it is insufficiently stated – pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.’ (DfE July 2019)
Please take note of the table below, which gives a good picture of how your child’s attendance equates to days and weeks missed from school:
|Attendance during one school year||Equates to days absent||Which is approximately||Which means the number of lessons missed|
|94%||10 days||2 weeks||60 lessons|
|90%||19 days||4 weeks||120 lessons|
|85%||29 days||6 weeks||180 lessons|
|80%||38 days||8 weeks||240 lessons|
|75%||48 days||10 weeks||300 lessons|
|70%||57 days||11.5 weeks||345 lessons|
|65%||67 days||13.5 weeks||405 lessons|
What are the times of the school day?
The School Day begins promptly at 8.50am and ends at 3.15pm. The gates open to allow access to the school at 8.40am and are closed at 8.50am. Pupils arriving after this time will be recorded as being late. If your child arrives after 9.20am, this will be recorded as late and this will also contribute towards any unauthorised absence.
What should I do if my child is unwell?
Please contact the school office on (01243) 821678 before 9.20am on any day when your child is too ill to attend school.
Coughs and common colds are not normally a reason for absence from school. We encourage all parents and carers to bring their child to school in this instance. If their condition worsens during the school day, we can contact you.
When should my child return to school?
After periods of sickness and diarrhoea, children should not return to school for 48 hours after the last bout. This helps to prevent the spread of infection.
In the case of other contagious illnesses, please contact the school office who can advise of recommended return periods based on the Health Protection Agency guidelines.
What about medical appointments?
We ask that parents make appointments for dentists, routine doctors’ visits, etc. outside of school hours. In circumstances where this is not possible, such as hospital visits please let the school office know in advance, ideally by showing an appointment card or letter. Children should attend school prior to and after any routine appointments, whenever possible.
How can I request time off for other absences?
Headteachers are only allowed to authorise other absence from school in exceptional circumstances. Absence for family holidays or days out will not normally be approved.
If there are exceptional circumstances, then please complete an absence request form giving your reasons and include suitable evidence of the exceptional circumstance. The request will then be considered by the headteacher.
If the absence is not approved, but your child is not in school on the requested days, then this will be treated as an unauthorised absence.
How does the school monitor attendance?
In circumstances where a child’s attendance falls below 95% (approximately 3 days off per term), we will monitor attendance to ensure that is improved over time. In cases where attendance falls below 90% (6 days off per term), then we will contact you to inform you of our concerns.
In most cases, the headteacher may request a meeting so that the school is able to support in improving a pupils attendance and any future absence is supported by evidence (such as a doctor’s appointment card for illnesses).
Does the school issue fines?
If the headteacher feels that parents are failing in their duty to ensure that a child attends school regularly, then a request may be made to the local authority to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Fixed Penalty Notices can be issued to families where a child has missed at least 5 days of school in a ten-week period, without authorisation.
Fixed Penalty Notices incur a fine of £120 per parent, per child, (£60 if paid in 28 days). This means that a family of 3 children with two parents missing school for a holiday could lead to combined fines of £720 for the family.
In line with our safeguarding policy and guidelines, it is essential that the school is kept informed of reasons for absence to ensure the health and safety of every child in our care.
For further information, please view our Attendance Policy which is available on the school website.