Attendance Policy

 INTRODUCTION

Good attendance at school is essential for a pupil’s education and establishes a positive working ethos early in life. 100% attendance is certainly possible, but in the event of your child being away from school, it is essential that you, the parent inform the school of the reasons for absence.

WHY?

  • The Education Act 1996 requires parents and carers to ensure their child receives efficient full-time education, suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special needs they may have either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.
  • Under current government legislation, all absence figures, together with the reasons for absence have to be reported to the Local Authority (LA) and the Department for Education (DfE).
  • Parents, guardians and carers must ensure that they are fully aware of the school’s attendance policy as any absence will have a huge impact on your child’s learning. Regular school attendance is essential and parents, guardians and carers, together with our school staff all have a part to play in ensuring full potential is achieved.
  • Pupils are expected to attend school for the entire duration of the academic year, unless there is an exceptional reason for the absence. There are two main categories of absences:-

Authorised Absence – is when the school has accepted the explanation offered as satisfactory justification for the absence, or given approval in advance for such an absence.

Unauthorised Absence – is when the school has not received a reason for absence of has not approved a child’s absence from school after a parent’s request.

  • Please be aware that when a parent telephones the school with information that their child is unable to attend due to illness, or other circumstance, this may not be automatically authorised. Your child’s current and previous school attendance will be taken into consideration and as a result the absence may not be authorised.
  • Keeping your child off school with minor ailments such as a headache or slight cold is not acceptable. Repeated absences will require us to request that you obtain medical evidence from your doctor’s surgery.
  • There is a clear connection between regular attendance and achievement. At attendance deteriorates, so does performance, achievement, friendship circles and self-esteem.
  • The achievement and maintenance of high levels of attendance is the shared responsibility of parents, guardians or carers and the school with the Local Authority.

AIMS OF THE POLICY

To promote regular attendance thus offering all pupils equal access to learning.

OBJECTIVES OF THE POLICY

  • Meet the Government attendance targets set for us.
  • Create a clearly understood attendance procedure that is effectively communicated to and understood by parents/carers.
  • Ensure pupils are in school for the maximum number of days.

This policy is designed to help all concerned adults to enable children to attend school regularly and thus be offered the most consistent access to learning as possible.

SCHOOL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • To communicate clearly the attendance procedure and expectations of the school.
  • Maintain appropriate attendance data.
  • Have appropriate registration processes in place.
  • To follow up absences and lateness if parents/carers have not communicated with the school initially with a first-day absence telephone call.
  • Inform parents/carers of what constitutes authorised and unauthorised absences.
  • To have systematic and consistent daily records which chart absence and lateness.
  • To consistently administer the attendance procedure.
  • To ensure that registers are taken twice daily: at the start of the morning and afternoon sessions.
  • To promote good attendance.

PARENT RESPONSBILITIES

  • To have children in class ready for teaching by the start of the day at 9am.
  • To inform school on every day of absence.
  • To request leave as far in advance as possible.
  • To make applications for leave in writing on the school’s ‘Leave of Absence Form’ giving the reason for the request.
  • To work with the school to improve lateness and attendance.
  • To avoid medical and dental appointments during the school day.

If parents, guardians or carers are worried about their child’s attendance at school they should:

  • Talk to their child, it may be something simple that needs your help in resolving.
  • Talk to your child’s class teacher in the first instance.

THE PROCESS FOR MONITORING ATTENDANCE

The School Manager will log instance of absence and lateness and discuss weekly with the Proprietor. Where issues persist the following will be initiated:

Stage 1:           Where there are concerns about attendance and punctuality the school will make contact with home.

Stage 2:           If the concerns persist the school will write to the parents/carers.

Stage 3:           If the concerns persist the school will arrange a meeting with the parents/carers.

ABSENCES DURING TERM TIME

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 explanatory note states:

Regulation 7 of the 2006 Regulations is amended to prohibit the proprietor of a maintained school granting leave of absence to a pupil; except where an application has been made in advance and the proprietor considers that there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application.

Leave of absence taken with authorisation may be referred to the Education Welfare Service. This may result in prosecution proceedings, or a Fixed Penalty Notice. If a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued, a separate Notice would be issued to each parent for each child.

If the penalty is not paid each parent may be liable to prosecution at the Magistrates Court, and if proved, each notice may receive a criminal conviction and/or a fine to the maximum of £1000 plus costs.

  • Application for term-time leave of absences must be made in advance by the parent with whom the child normally resides on the form headed ‘Application of leave of absence during term time’. These may be obtained from the School Manager.
  • Leave of absence will only be agreed where the School Manager considers it is due to ‘exceptional circumstances’. Parents will be informed within 7 school days as to whether the request has been authorised or unauthorised.
  • There are approximately 195 school days (390 sessions) a year which your child is expected to attend school. There are also approximately 71 days (142 sessions) of school holidays. This is over 13 school weeks. Please ensure that your holidays are taken during this period.

LATENESS

Punctuality is an important life skill. It is also polite.

  • Children must be in class by 9am each day. Registers will be taken as soon as possible after that time. Children will be marked late if they arrive at school after the registers have been taken.
  • Lateness will be monitored.

If a pupils is late due to a medical appointment, they will receive an authorised absence coded ‘M’. Please be advised that where possible doctors and dentists appointments are to be made outside of school hours or during school holidays.

Pupils who are consistently late are disrupting not only their own education but also that of the other pupils. Lateness is considered to be a equally serious absence. Parents, guardians or carers of pupils who seem to be developing patterns of lateness will be reminded by letter of the importance of good time keeping. If lateness persists parents, guardians or carers will be invited to attend the school and discuss the problem.

SICKNESS

  • Please notify the school on each day of the absence.
  • We reserve the right to request a doctor’s/consultant’s letter regarding recurring and frequent illness.

This Policy was updated September 2016 – Review Date September 2017