We are always seeking to improve children’s attendance at school. This is because we know that attendance is a major factor which impacts directly on how well children do at school. It is a major focus nationally at the moment and the aim is that more children will reach their potential through improved attendance. It is a parent/carer’s legal responsibility to ensure the child attends school daily.
I am sending out our practice and guidelines again this year, as I would like us to work together to make sure children have the best chance of high achievement through regular attendance.
- School begins at 9am. Registers close at 9:10am and if children arrive after this time, with no arranged reason, the session will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.
- Children who arrive between 9am and 9:10am are marked as late and the time recorded. If your child is late, they must report to the main entrance, so that we know they have arrived safely. We maintain records detailing minutes late each morning.
- Please contact the school if your child has an appointment or is unwell. Please note that repeated appointments and extended or very frequent illness will be investigated both by the school’s staff and the County’s Education Welfare Officer (EWO).
- Please leave a message for each day of the child’s absence. We need to know that the child has not set off for school on a given day and not arrived, so that we know every child is safe.
- Phone messages only please. We have a dedicated message service to report absence. The telephone number is 01270 685 090.
- If we receive no message, a phone call home will be made to make sure children are safe.
- If we receive no reply, we will send a text and may visit.
There are legal guidelines for authorised reasons for absence. We cannot authorise any absence other than for the child’s own illness or for significant close family event such as a bereavement.
- There is now no entitlement for children to have time off in term time.
- There is a fixed penalty for unauthorised absence: £60 per parent per child.
Attendance below 90% will be followed up, as will persistent lateness. Families receive notification letters which tells parents the attendance percentage which is causing concern. We understand that children have illnesses from time to time, and the letters are for information. Usually, where a child has been ill, attendance improves in the next term. If absences continue, parents are asked to attend school to discuss the issues. Our Educational Welfare Officer will also monitor our registers and will follow up poor attendance and lateness. If poor attendance persists, warning letters are issued and can lead to prosecution. Parents of children with persistently unauthorised absences are both liable to fines.
Any request for absence will be copied in to both parents, if living apart. If both parents approve the request, both will be liable to fines. If one parent does not approve the request, that parent must inform school of this, and then the fine can be attributed appropriately. Fixed penalty notice fines are not collected by the school, but by the Local Authority.
Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation.
Rhian Futcher, Headteacher