Attendance & Absence

Our School Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy March 2021

Code-of-Conduct-From-1.1.2018

Principles

Promoting excellent attendance is the responsibility of the whole school community.  There is a clear relationship between good attendance and good attainment – high attendance rates are a significant factor in maintaining a high quality of education.

All children should be at school and on time each day the school is open, unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.  If we are to maintain the continuity of education for all of our pupils and maximize their potential, we must ensure that absenteeism is kept to a minimum.

Sometimes children are reluctant to attend school.  Any problems that arise with attendance are best resolved between the school, the parents and the child.  If a child is reluctant to attend, it is never better to cover up their absence or to give in to pressure to excuse them from attending.  This gives the impression that attendance does not matter and may make things worse.  It is also important to fully understand why a child is not attending so that any problems can be addressed and resolved.

Should a parent or carer be concerned about the attendance of their child then they should, in the first instance, discuss the issues with the Class Teacher, Headteacher or school office staff.

Requesting a leave of absence in term time

Amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 which came into effect on the 1 September 2013, now make it clear that head teachers should only grant a leave of absence during term time if there are exceptional circumstances to justify this. 

Head teachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted. 

Amendments to the 2006 regulations also removed references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. Therefore it is clear that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. 

What to do if your child is absent from school

Please inform the school by 9am on every day that your child/children is/are absent from school.  The school should be informed of the absence either by phone, leaving a message on the answer phone, or by email to the school office.  If no notification has been received by 9.30am on the first day then the school office will contact the parents or carer throughout the day to establish a reason for the child’s absence from school.  If the school is not notified of a child’s absence from school this will be considered a safeguarding concern and may be reported to the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) who will continue to make enquiries.  This may also include home visits being conducted by a member of the school’s staff or EWO.  If contact cannot be made school has a duty to report your child missing in education and report this to safeguarding and/or the police.

For sickness and diarrhea, the child should not return to school for 48 hours following the last bout.  For other infectious diseases, the school will follow Community Health guidelines.  Parents should continue to notify schools at regular intervals to give updates on the child’s wellbeing.

Medical appointments are authorised upon confirmation of appointment in advance.  We encourage routine appointments to be made out of school hours where possible.

Getting to school on time 

Your child should be at school on time, ready for the register to be called. If your child has a doctor’s or dentist’s appointment, inform the school beforehand so they know what time to expect them. Your child can still be given a present mark as long as they go for as much of the session as possible. 

If your child is late for no valid reason, that counts as unauthorised absence. 

What if my child doesn’t want to go? 

Some children are reluctant to attend school, or look to their parents to provide them with an excuse. Never give in to pressure to let a child stay off school, it may make things worse. 

If you are experiencing problems, talk to us as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the situation escalates. Most problems can be resolved once we are made aware of the situation. 

What the law says 

The local authority has the statutory powers under the Education Act 1996 to ensure children attend school and if they cannot successfully engage with the family to achieve this, they may use the many statutory powers to enforce the parents/carers responsibility regarding their child’s school attendance. 

The Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 amended section 444 of the Education Act 1996 to allow parents to be issued with a penalty where they failed to ensure their child of compulsory school age (5-16) and school registered regular attendance. 

A penalty notice is initially for £60. If this £60 is not paid within 21 days from the date of issue it rises to £120. If, after 28 days of the date of issue the £120 is not paid the Local Authorityl will prosecute the parents under section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996. This will lead to a hearing in the Magistrates Court and may result in a fine of up to £1,000.  

Getting Further advice 

If your child’s attendance problems can’t be resolved easily, we may ask for help from the Local Support Team. They are independent of the school or you can contact them yourself if you prefer.  

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