As a school, we take a whole-school approach to maintaining excellent attendance and it is the joint responsibility of parents, pupils, and all staff members to ensure that children are attending school as they should be. We endeavour to work with families to make sure that any problems or circumstances which may lead or be leading to poor attendance are given the right attention and appropriate support.
The Governing Body request that parents and carers:
- do everything they can to prevent unnecessary school absences, such as by making medical and dental appointments outside of school hours
- use the school as a support when they or their child are having difficulties, and work to form a positive relationship with the school so that there is easy communication when a problem arises
- do not take their children out of school for holidays during term time. If parents would like to make a special request for this, they may do so to the Executive Headteacher.
From time to time children are poorly enough not to come to school. Bugs soon spread where any group of people work in close contact and schools are no exception. If you believe your child is unwell and will not be attending school, we ask that you contact the school office, where possible before 9am. Children should be kept at home with illnesses such as stomach upsets and return to school 24 hours after symptoms have stopped. For information on contagious and other illnesses, we will be very happy to advice you by phone of our policy.
If children become unwell while at school, and need to go home, we will contact you so they may be collected. To assist us in this we ask that you keep us up to date with any changes to mobile phone numbers as well as other contact details. We ask that you come to collect as quickly as possible, but understand this can sometimes take a short while – we will make your child as comfortable as possible while they wait. We are not able to send poorly children home during the school day, even if verbal permission is given over the phone.
Head Lice in School
If head lice are seen on a child’s head in school an ‘alert’ letter will be sent home to the child’s parents. If a child is complaining of an itchy head and gives a member of staff permission they can then check the child’s head for head lice. The adult checking must consider the welfare and dignity of the child, also ensuring the check is in a non public place (but easily accessible) and that another member of staff has been notified of their whereabouts and intentions. If head lice are found an ‘alert’ letter is sent home.
Holidays and Avoidable Absence in Term Time
We believe that in order for children to fully benefit from their education, good attendance is crucial. It is the policy of our school to celebrate achievement and full attendance is a critical factor to a productive and successful school career.
As of September 2013, an amendment to the Education Regulations 2006 came into force and greater clarity was introduced to the issue of schools authorising absence requests. These changes reinforced the government’s view that every minute of every school day is vital and that pupils should only be granted authorised absence by the school in ‘exceptional circumstances’.
A family holiday is not normally considered by the Government to be an ‘exceptional circumstance’ and therefore will not be authorised by the school. I must take this opportunity to remind you, that should you chose to take your child out of school without the authorisation of the school, then Parental Responsibility Measure could be instigated. This could mean receiving a Penalty Notice.
Our policy, similar to that of other local school and the expectations of Government, is that only requests for holidays where ‘exceptional circumstances’ can be demonstrated will be authorised. An example of this might be Armed Forces personnel having leave only in term time. Please ensure that when completing a ‘Exceptional Circumstances Time Request Form' you include some detail should you feel there to be a valid reason. Having discussed the matter, please be aware, not being able to get time off from work is not an exceptional circumstance.
We ask that you complete an Exceptional Circumstances form for any planned absence e.g. medical and dental appointments. (See the Forms for Parents section of our website).
Education Welfare Officer (EWO)
Our EWO supports the school and monitors our levels of whole school and individual pupil attendance. The EWO team are able to offer advice to parents should they contact them seeking assistance. They will also be made aware of pupils who take unauthorised time off from school or are persistently absent. Whilst a fixed penalty notice (£50) is a possibility, it is more likely that parents, in the first instance, may receive a warning letter.
Attendance – did you know?
Brandon has 90% attendance at school. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?
90% ATTENDANCE = 1/2 A DAY MISSED EVERY WEEK!
1 school year at 90% = 4 WHOLE WEEKS OF LESSONS MISSED!
Brandon’s learning and achievement will be affected!
What happens when children miss school?
They miss lessons and crucial information
They will fall behind with their work
They may miss interesting activities that the class does follow up work on • They may become isolated from their peer group
They let down their classmates who may be working with them
The Education Welfare Officer may become involved (90% attendance or less will trigger an enquiry by the EWO)
Why do children need to be in school regularly?
so that they don’t miss any lessons
to maximise their learning
to make sure they will be able to do the best they can in assessments
to learn to socialise with their peers
because it’s the law!
Unauthorised Absence from School
Schools are also required to notify the Local Authority if a child has a number of unauthorised absences. Unauthorised absences can be acquired when:
Leave has been requested, but the circumstances are such that the school cannot authorise the leave and it is taken anyway
Leave is not requested and the school has grounds to believe that the child has been taken out of school for an avoidable reason
A child continually arrives late after registration closes, i.e. after 9.10am
A child is ill for 5 or more consecutive days without medical evidence
The school is required to notify the Local Authority in all of the circumstances listed above.
We understand the disappointment that the refusal of a leave request may cause and we apologise, but as you can appreciate this policy represents the school’s responsibility and commitment towards ensuring your child’s education and their future life opportunities.