We place a high priority on excellent attendance as it is necessary for the children to learn effectively. Attendance patterns are monitored regularly and any child who has regular, frequent absences will be referred to the Attendance team. Before doing this we will write to the parents and ask them to come in and discuss the issues behind the absences with us. Regular attendance at school is vital to a child’s education and it is the parents’ legal responsibility to ensure their child attends school regularly and on time.
What to do if your child is absent:
If your child is absent for any reason, please telephone us before 9am on the day of the absence. Absence messages may be left on the school answer phone. When leaving a message, please tell us:
Your child’s name, the name of your child’s teacher, who you are/ your relationship to the child, the reason for the absence and when you expect your child to return to school.
Attendance regulations state that reasons for all absences must be notified to school. We also operate first day calling, and if you do not inform us of your child’s absence by 9.30am, then we will contact you to request a reason for safeguarding purposes.
The answer phone is on when the school is closed, so you can leave a message at any time. To save any unnecessary worry, please do phone before 9am and leave a message.
Our duty of care:
We have a duty of care to all of our children. If there is no reason given on the day before 9.30 am and you do not respond to our first day calling, we will as part of our duty of care, do all that we can to ensure that the child and family are safe. This may mean that we make a welfare call to the police who would attend the family home or that staff may call to the family home. We will also contact emergency contacts to see if they can ascertain where a pupil is if required. We need to ensure our children are all safe and accounted for as if they do not attend and we have had no reason, anything could have happened. Some of our children walk to school alone in KS2 and a parent may believe them to be safely at school and they are not.
We will consider each reason given and then make a decision about whether to authorise it or not.
If you know your child will be absent or late, for example because of a medical or dental appointment, please let us know in advance, either by telephoning the office or sending in a letter. Please also note that a medical or dental appointment does not always need a full day or half day’s absence. We expect children to be in school before and after medical appointments, however short that time may be. We may ask you to provide evidence of the appointments.
Valid reasons for authorised absence include:
- Illness and medical/dental appointments
- Religious observance – where the day is exclusively set apart for religious observance by the religious body to which the pupil’s parents belong. If necessary, the school will seek advice from the parents’ religious body to confirm whether the day is set apart
- Traveller pupils travelling for occupational purposes – this covers Roma, English and Welsh Gypsies, Irish and Scottish Travellers, Showmen (fairground people) and Circus people, Bargees (occupational boat dwellers) and New Travellers. Absence may be authorised only when a Traveller family is known to be travelling for occupational purposes and has agreed this with the school but it is not known whether the pupil is attending educational provision.
The following reasons are examples of absence that will not be authorised:
- Persistent non-specific illness e.g. poorly/unwell
- Absence of siblings if one child is ill
- Confusion over school dates
- Medical/dental appointments of more than half a day without very good reasons
- Child’s/family birthday
- Shopping trip
- Family Holidays
- Absence of child as a result of another member of the family’s illness or medical appointment
Please note also that children arriving at school 15 minutes after the start time are classed as being late and marked as such. Those arriving 30 minutes after their start time are classed as having an unauthorised absence for the entire morning, with the exception of those children who arrive late due to medical appointments.
Please make every effort to ensure that your child arrives on time each day as arriving late means that children miss the start of the lessons and this affects their learning. Those arriving late regularly will be referred to the Attendance Support and Enforcement Officer.
Holidays during term time:
Holidays in term time are no longer granted. We may consider absences from school in exceptional circumstances.
We define ‘exceptional circumstances’ as: -
- Family bereavement
- Religious observance
- Circumstances linked to parents returning from being stationed abroad (service men and women)
The school considers each application for term-time absence individually, taking into account the specific facts, circumstances and relevant context behind the request. A leave of absence is granted entirely at the headteacher’s discretion.
The Trust does not recognise a term time holiday as being an exceptional circumstance; term time holidays will be unauthorised.
Please collect a form from the office if you wish to apply for leave in term time or inform us of an absence. Fuller guidance is on the form and this can also be found on the school website. Parents who take their child on holiday in term time now face a fine of up to £60 per week, per parent, per child. These fines will be implemented for any child meeting the following criteria:
- 9 consecutive sessions* of unauthorised absence where some or all of the absence may be attributed to an unauthorised holiday in term-time; or
- 15% unauthorised absence over a period of 6 school weeks for reasons other than unauthorised term time holiday.
This also includes stepparents and parents who do not live with the child.
* Please note that the school day consists of 2 sessions