Children who attend school every day make better progress and achieve more than those who miss some days or weeks of learning in a term.
In line with the National Curriculum, teachers plan and teach lessons across all subjects in termly blocks of six or seven weeks. Clearly if a child misses several days or even weeks of this learning their progress and achievement will be compromised.
Children Missing Education Officers visit all schools regularly to check on pupil attendance. They look for key indicators of children with below 90% and 85% attendance and follow these up. Our school attendance target is 96.1%, we also follow up children who fall below this indicator.
To help parents, and to raise the profile of school attendance for all, our school sends letters to parents if a child’s attendance falls below each of these indicators in any term.
What to do if your child is ill.
If your child is unwell and unable to attend school please telephone the office with a message. If we do not receive a message, someone from the office will call. As advised by the EWO (Education Welfare Officer) if there is a continued absence due to illness medical confirmation may be required, this could be in the form of signed appointment cards.
If at any time you are concerned about your child’s level of attendance then please feel free to make an appointment to see either the Mrs James or Mrs Douglas.
Our doors open at 8.45am each morning. Children are expected to arrive in class between 8.45 and 8.55am. Our registers are closed at 9.05am. Children arriving to class after this time will be recorded in the register with a Late mark. Children who arrive after 9.30am will be marked with an Unauthorised Absence for the morning session. Children who are consistently late to school may be referred to the Children Missing Education Service, we also keep parents informed of their child's lateness, if it is causing concern, by sending a letter at the end of each term.
As you may know, reducing absence from schools is a key government priority nationally and locally. A pupil who has two weeks absence in each year of their school life will, by the time they are 16, have missed the equivalent of 4 terms at school.
The Law says that parents of children aged 5-16 years who are on a school roll, must make sure that their child goes to school both regularly and punctually. Where children have unauthorised absences as a result of a family holiday in term time, legal action may be taken against each parent under the following legislation:
Section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996 provides that a parent commits an offence if his or her child, being of compulsory school age, fails to attend regularly the school at which he or she is a registered pupil. Section 444A allows for a penalty notice to be issued to parents who commit such an offence.
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations set out the circumstances in which schools may grant a pupil leave of absence. Schools cannot authorise a leave of absence in term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Our Education Welfare Officer works closely with our school to promote high rates of attendance. In order to comply with the requirement to only authorise holidays in exceptional circumstances, we operate the following procedure in relation to leave of absences in term time:
A leave of absence which is requested for the following reasons cannot be authorised:
Parents who take their children out of school without authorisation will receive a written warning from the EWO that legal action may be taken in the event of further unauthorised absences. In some circumstances, a Penalty Notice may be issued in respect of a first unauthorised absence; for example where a child already has poor attendance or where a child would miss a SATs test.
Please do not ask for any leave of absence if you can possibly avoid it. If you do need to make a request, please be sure that the circumstances are exceptional. If you do require a leave of absence a meeting with need to be arrange with Mrs James and Mrs Douglas via the school office.
For further information on school attendance and what to do if you think a child or young person may be missing from education please contact our EWO Deborah Bedingfield, email firstname.lastname@example.org