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.
The Education Act 1996 requires parents and carers to ensure their child receives efficient fulltime 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 Schools Governing Body, 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 or 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 circumstances, 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. This may be in the form of a date stamped compliment slip confirming your visit, or prescription or medicine bottle. Any of the above is to be shown to a member of the school office staff. (Please note: that the school is not asking any parent to incur a charge for such information and will not be liable for the cost.)
There is a clear connection between regular attendance and achievement. As 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, the school with its Governing Body and 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 is possible.
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 second-day absence telephone call for those children with low attendance.
Inform parents/carers of what constitutes authorised and unauthorised absences.
To have systematic and consistent daily records which chart absence and lateness.
To report to the EWO (Educational Welfare Officer) and support their work with pupils as necessary.
To report to the Governs on attendance termly.
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
To have children in class ready for teaching by the start of the day at 9.00 a.m.
To inform school on first day of any absence.
To request leave as far in advance as possible.
To request holidays at least two weeks prior to holiday taking place and be aware that holiday requests will be subject to an ‘Holiday Authorisation Calculation chart’.
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 and EWO 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 Inclusion Welfare Officer will log instances of absence and lateness and discuss frequently with the Head Teacher. Where issues persist the following will be initiated:
Stage 1: Where there are concerns about attendance and punctuality the school will make verbal contact with home, including a phone call home on the second day of absence with children who have below 90% attendance.
Stage 2: If the concerns persist the school will write to the parents/carers who will be invited to school to meet with the Headteacher.
Stage 3: If the concerns persist the school will arrange a meeting between the
Parent/carer, school representative and the IWO.
Stage 4: If the concerns persist the school will make a formal referral to the Local Authority Educational Welfare Service to deal with the on-going issues.
Should concerns persist the IWO will agree action (as above) and where necessary meet with the parents/carers. Please note that ultimately the Local Authority can take legal action.
ABSENCES DURING TERM TIME
There are approximately 195 school days (390 sessions) a year which your child is expected to attend. 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.
Application for term-time leave of absence must be made in advance by the parent with whom the child normally resides on the form headed ‘Application for leave of absence during term time’. These may be obtained from the school office.
Leave of absence/Holiday will be determined by a ‘Holiday Authorisation Calculation chart’ The Headteacher will complete the form with the necessary information from SIMS and class teachers. If a child receives more than 8 points – the leave will not be authorised. If a child receives less than 8 points – the request will be authorised.
Punctuality is an important life skill. It is also polite.
Children must be in class by 00 am 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. The school doors will be open at 8:50 am. School doors and gates will be shut by 9.00 am. Children who arrive after that time must come into the building via the main office, where they will be entered as Late into the Pupil Record Book and will receive a Late mark ‘L’ on the register.
If the arrival at school is after the registers have closed at 10:45 am, the pupil will receive a ‘U’. This equates to an absence although we are aware that the pupil is on the school premises in accordance with health and safety.
Lateness will be monitored and the Inclusion Welfare Officer will follow this up.
If a pupil is late after 10.45am 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 an 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.
Please notify the school on the first day of the absence.
We reserve the right to request a doctor’s/consultant’s letter regarding recurring and frequent illness.
PROMOTING GOOD ATTENDANCE
We celebrate good attendance throughout our School by
Awarding 10 minutes extra play for any class with 100% for the previous week
By awarding a cup to the class with the highest attendance if there isn’t one with 100% attendance termly
By awarding individual stickers to individual children who have 100% for each term
By awarding certificates to individual children who get 100% attendance for the whole academic year (September to July).
Letters will go home to parents termly notifying them of their child’s, class and school attendance.
THE ROLE OF THE INCLUSION WELFARE OFFICER
The Inclusion Welfare Officer strives to support schools, parents and pupils with the aim of ensuring and promoting good attendance and punctuality. However, the Education Welfare Service also has a statutory responsibility under the Education Act 1996 to pursue non-school attendance and persistent
This involves engaging the parent and specifying what improvements need to be made over a fixed time-frame. Parents have the responsibility for ensuring that their child attends school regularly. Where a parent fails in this responsibility and no improvement is brought about within the specified time frame, legal proceedings are initiated in the Magistrates Court.
From 2015 the Education Welfare Service will be issuing FIXED PENALTY NOTICES for unauthorised absences from school. (See Attached Leaflet)
It is the Governors legal responsibility to monitor and evaluate the attendance in their schools. The schools attendance figures are presented to the Governing Body on a termly basis.
Golftyn CP School