To promote a consistent approach to promoting good attendance and punctuality.
It is the aim of the school to ensure punctuality and regular attendance which will help to raise achievement and enable all learners to realise their full potential.
Legal responsibilities of parents in relation to school attendance (Section 7 education act 1996):
The parent of every child of compulsory school age must ensure that he/she receives efficient full-time education suitable to:
For pupils registered at a school, this means that pupils must attend regularly and punctually; failure to do so may result in their parents committing a criminal offence.
For all absences, there should normally be formal notification from parents. Only Headteachers can authorise any absence and may refuse to do so unless it is felt that the absence is justified by one of the reasons stated above.
Application in exceptional circumstances must be made in advance to the Headteacher who will consider each case independently.
In cases of unauthorised term-time holidays, the Headteacher can apply directly to the Education Welfare Service to generate a penalty notice warning letter. This should be done by completing a Penalty Notice Certificate of Absence Form and retuning it to the penalty notice office, EWS.
The school will liaise closely with parents advising them as early as possible if there are cases of suspected unauthorised absence, and persistent lateness, or their child’s attendance falls below 85%.
Late arrivals will be actively discouraged. Separate registration codes are required for lateness prior to close of registration and afterwards. It has been agreed that registers should remain ‘open’ for the first 30 minutes of the morning registration period. In circumstances such as bad weather or public transport difficulties schools may keep their register open for a longer period. Late arrival during this period will be coded as ‘Authorised Late’ (L).
Late arrival after the register is closed is an ‘Unauthorised Absence’ (coded U) which could provide grounds for prosecution. Where a pupil arrives after close of registration with a legitimate reason, the absence should be authorised using the appropriate code (for example due to an appointment with a doctor).
Parents have a responsibility to inform school of late arrival or other absence before 9.30 am on the day; or, for absences of longer than one day, before 9.30 am on the first day.
Where no satisfactory explanation for absences is received, parents will be contacted by the school.
Where over the course of an academic year, a pupil has 16 sessions of illness or more, the school may write to parents to ask them to provide medical evidence for each future period of illness related absence. This evidence could be a GP’s appointment card, GP’s note or hospital letter.
The Education Welfare Officer will be notified in the following circumstances:
When a pupil’s attendance falls below 85% and they also have 10 or more unauthorised absences, unless there are extenuating circumstances, they should be considered for ‘Fast Track to Attendance’.
Parents are to inform the school in writing if a child is removed from a roll. Details of the new school should be provided, if applicable.
If a child leaves a school to be home educated, then form EWS 10 must be completed and returned to the EWS service.
When a child moves from school and no notification is received from another school, the ‘old’ school should complete a (CME) ‘Child Missing Education’ form and return it to the EWS.
Schools will adopt a multi-agency approach in supporting children and their families to improve their attendance.
For Health and Safety reasons, schools need to be aware of where pupils are, particularly those leaving or arriving on the premises during a session. An appropriate recording system will be instigated.
Parents’ meetings, and other occasions can be used to stress to all parents the importance and benefits of regular attendance and punctuality. School newsletters should also be used.
Guidance on exceptional circumstances.
As a small school we like to feel that we know the families and children we work with very well, there are some occasions when the question of planned absence in term time arises. We do however have to be very mindful when considering requests for absence as to the impact any time missed in school will have on a child’s education.
If a child were to miss 5 days each year during their time in Primary School, this would equate to half a term being missed over 7 years. We therefore aim to look at each circumstance individually and try to come to a fair and rational judgement when authorising absence from school or not. We do consider requests very carefully before reaching a decision.
It is also important to be aware that when an absence for a particular event or occasion is authorised in one year it does not necessarily mean that this will be authorised again in future years. We also understand that family holidays are considerably cheaper during term time and with this in mind we have placed 2 non pupil days in September meaning term will not start until 5th September 2016. Families can therefore take advantage of cheaper holidays during this last week of the summer break.
The list below whilst not exhaustive will give some examples of the types of absence which may or may not be authorised.
Absences which will not be authorised.
* Family holidays.
* Looking after siblings or unwell parents
* Any type of shopping
* Resting after a late night
* Relatives visiting or visiting relatives
Absences which could be considered exceptional
* Participating (not spectating) in Sporting or Cultural activities which fall during term time (The school can
determine the length of the absence which is authorised and may not authorise absence for the same event
year on year)
* Times of bereavement
* Visiting relatives who are seriously ill.
* Religious Observance
The school can also take into account a child’s previous attendance record when considering whether to authorise an absence or not. It is also important to note that the school can determine the length of the absence to be authorised.
The school is regularly audited by the local authority and are ultimately accountable to both the Department for Education and OFSTED with regards to our levels of attendance and absences which we authorise as exceptional. Any fixed penalties that are issued by the local authority bring no financial benefit to the school.