Attendance at our school is considered to be vital in ensuring your child’s progress and future academic success. At our school we aim high and expect parents to have the same ambition. We have appointed Mrs Alison Swallow as our Attendance Officer and we also use the Education Welfare Officers at our local secondary school for persistent issues.
We all have a legal responsibility to ensure every child is in school every day and on time. The law states every child must receive a full-time education. Section 444 (1a) of the Education Act 1996 says; ‘If a child of compulsory school age, who is a registered pupil at the school, fails to attend regularly, without reasonable justification, then his/her parent is guilty of an offence and can be prosecuted.”
There is an expectation that over the course of a school year (190 days) a child’s attendance will be at least 95%. Absence which falls below 90% is categorised by the government as persistent absence. This would equate to 19 days off in a year. All parents have the responsibility to ensure that their child attends school for the whole academic year by making medical appointments out of school time (wherever possible), avoid booking holidays during term time and avoid encouraging their child to stay at home for reasons which are judged to be unjustifiable by school.
Good attendance is important because:
- Statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and poor attendance
- Regular attendees make better progress, both socially and academically
- Regular attendees find school routines and school work easier to cope with
- Regular attendees find learning more satisfying
- Regular attendees have an easier transfer to secondary school
As a school we aim to:
- Treat attendance as a priority;
- Apply timely intervention/support and where necessary, if poor attendance continues, refer to the local authority’s Education, Entitlement and Inclusion team to consider who will legal sanctions
- Promote good attendance at every opportunity – at Parents’ evenings, at Induction, in newsletters, in assemblies etc;
- Always use first day telephone contact;
- Reward and celebrate good and improved attendance;
- Set attendance targets for the school;
- Keep parents/carers informed of their child’s attendance level;
- Make good use of attendance data by specific analysis;
- Notify Governors at each full governing body meeting in the Head’s report of attendance levels;
- Provide a safe, happy, stimulating environment for children where they feel valued and welcomed and that their presence in school is important.
As a parent you can help us by:
Ringing on the first morning of all absences with the reason and saying when the child will return, or use our WEDUC APP to report
Arranging dental and doctor’s appointments out of school hours or during school breaks
Sending in an email explaining the reason for absence on your child’s return to school after an illness or use our WEDUC APP to report
Keeping us updated by telephone or email or WEDUC APP if your child has an extended period of absence due to illness
School staff will:
Follow up unexplained absences by phone calls by 10am on the first day of absence
Remind parents of the importance of regular attendance and punctuality in newsletters and the school website
Acknowledge and reward good attendance regularly throughout the year
Publish your child’s attendance rate termly on her/his annual school report
Let you know if we have concerns regarding your child’s attendance
If we continue to have concerns we will make a referral to the School Attendance Officer, who will visit the school to review the situation and advise on the action to be taken.
Reporting an absence
If your child is absent from school please inform the school office 01451 830784 on the first morning of absence, and on a daily basis if needed. The absence will then be recorded as ‘Authorised’. Failure to inform the school of absences will result in an ‘Unauthorised’ absence being recorded. The Headteacher and attendace officers monitor attendance on a daily basis and contact parents when we feel there is a concern.
Poor punctuality only applies to a minority of our children but it is noted on a daily basis. Children who arrive late disrupt the class and miss very important introductions to the lesson. Please make every effort to ensure that your children arrive on time. Missing just 10 minutes of the school a day (either in the morning or afternoon) is the same as missing two weeks over the year.
Notification of absence
Since September 2013, in schools, the Headteacher may only authorise leave for ‘exceptional’ circumstances. Holidays are not classed as an exceptional circumstance. If a child goes on holiday during term time without the permission of the Head teacher this will be marked as an unauthorised absence. This is in line with our Agreed Policy for The North Cotswolds Primary Schools.
Mis-reporting ‘Sick Leave’
Where strong evidence exists that the reporting of ‘sick leave’ is not genuine, parents will be contacted. Evidence could include: social media, non-contact with school, school are unable to contact parents/carers, children reporting a holiday or other circumstances and children reporting non-illness.
All medical appointments (wherever possible) should not be made during school time. If your child is attending a medical appointment you must produce an appointment card/letter or similar paperwork prior to the appointment to the office to inform them. On the day of the appointment, if on the rare occasion it happened to be during the school day, your child must still attend school around the appointment.
The school has a legal responsibility to log any incidents of concern about health, safety and welfare of the children and to contact social services if we feel it is necessary. Mrs Scutt is our Designated Safegarding Lead and ensures that correct procedures are always followed in school. We work with parents very closely if we have any concerns about a child’s welfare. We all have a responsibility to ensure every child attends school. If your child is absent without a justifiable explanation you are stopping them from learning and this is unacceptable. The school has a legal duty to publish its attendance figures to parents and promote attendance. Equally, parents have a legal duty to make sure that their child attends school. School staff are committed to working with parents to ensure every child achieves their potential by attending school every day because we believe Every child matters; every moment counts.
For more information, please read our attendance policy on our school policies page.
And see the information in the Gloucestershire Parents Attendance Booklet.