Attendance

“Pupils’ attendance has been high for several years and their punctuality to school is exceptional.” (OFSTED 2014)

It is very important that your child misses as little school as possible. Please read the following information on attendance, the school’s procedures, and the help and support that is available.


Extended Absence from School:

Following a change in Department for Education regulations from September 2013, schools may only authorise absence in exceptional circumstances.

These include:

  • family emergencies
  • the funeral of a close family member
  • the wedding of a close family member

Holidays will not count as a reason to authorise absence in term time, with the exception of the children of armed forces personnel on leave from active service.

When applying for absence you must complete an ‘Absence Request Form’. You must complete one form per child and the form should be handed in to the school office at least 5 days in advance.


Penalty Notices:

Penalty Notices are issued for unauthorised absence taken during term time where a pupil’s overall attendance is less than 90%, the leave of absence has not been authorised by the school, an absence has not been requested in advance, or a pupil has had a minimum of 10 sessions (5 school days) lost to unauthorised absence during the previous six months in the academic year and additional unauthorised absence during the previous twelve months (up to and including the day the Education Welfare Service is noticed).

The school is required to report unauthorised absences to the Local Authority (LA). If your child has had a minimum of 10 sessions (5 school days) lost to unauthorised absence during the previous six months in the academic year (and additional unauthorised absence during the previous twelve months), the LA can issue a ‘Penalty Notice’ to parents. Currently, each parent can be fined £60 per child as long as the fine is paid within 21 days, or £120 per parent if it is paid after 21 days and before 28 days from the date of issue. Failure to pay the fine is likely to result in prosecution.

To find out more about what constitutes an ‘unauthorised absence’, please click on this link to read the guidance notes that the LA have issued.


Appointments:

Please try to arrange non-urgent appointments with the doctor, dentist or optician outside of school hours. If your child does have an appointment within school hours, they should not miss the whole day. Please bring them into school before and after the appointment.

Please let the school staff know if your child has been feeling unwell and be reassured that school staff will be able to care for your child. If they become unwell in school and need to go home, our staff will contact you.

If your child is unwell and unable to come to school, please let the school know as soon as possible. The school staff will ask you for details about your child’s illness so that they can give you the latest advice, or they may contact the school nurse for further information. The school nurse may in turn contact you to offer further support and guidance.

Because over half the absences from school are reported to be for health reasons, the ‘Think Twice – Every Day Counts’ initiative has been set up to give advice and guidance if you are worried your child may not be well enough for school.

You can also get advice and some treatment from your local pharmacist, of course; you don’t have to wait to see a doctor.

Click on the link below to read NHS advice on whether your child is fit for school.

Is My Child Well Enough for School?


An Attendance Example:

Attendance

This is Jack; he’s in Year 3 and his attendance is 90%. Is this good? What does it mean? Jack thinks that this is pretty good and so do his parents. Are they right? Let’s look a little closer…

90% attendance = half a day missed EVERY WEEK. This means that Jack would have missed FOUR WEEKS of school over the course of one year.

How will this affect Jack?

Being on time and coming to school regularly is important. Not only will it help Jack to build friendships with other children and staff, but it will also get Jack into a good routine and help him to enjoy school.

Please help your child by keeping their attendance above 95% and allow them to reach their full potential.