Attendance Policy

Realising the potential of every child within in a caring Christian community

  1. Aims and Expectations

 

1.1       To provide a structure of action in cases of non attendance.

 1.2       To ensure consistency of practice.

To give clear policy to staff and parents regarding absence.

To encourage maximum attendance levels.

 

  1. Principles

2.1       In accordance with Government guidelines, children should be at school, on time, every day the school is open, unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. Permitting absence from the school without a good reason is an offence by the parent. Parents of registered pupils have a legal duty under the Education Act 1996 and The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, The Education (Pupil Registration)(England) Regulations 2006 as amended 2013 and The Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2007 amended, to make sure that children of compulsory school age attend school on a regular and full-time basis. Permitting unauthorised absence from school is an offence and parents may be reported to the Local Authority.

 

2.2       Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school (not by the parents), as either Authorised or Unauthorised. This is why information about the cause of each absence is always required, preferably in writing.

 

2.3       Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason like illness. Parents must inform the school of the symptoms their child has, as ‘unwell’ or ‘ill’ cannot be authorised.

Unauthorised absence is when a child is away from school without the permission of the Head teacher. They are absences which the school does not consider reasonable, for which no explanation has been given or has never been properly explained.

  1. Parental Support

3.1       The role of the parent/carer in supporting the school’s efforts in securing high    levels of attendance is critical.  We maintain close, effective and positive links with our parents and ensure early contact regarding absences.

  1. Absence from School due to Illness:

 

4.1       Parents are required to contact the school office by telephone or letter as soon as possible on the first day of absence.  If no contact is made then we shall attempt to contact parents.

 

4.2       In the majority of cases a parent’s note explaining that their child was ill can be accepted without question or concern.  If however the school has concerns and wishes to challenge parents statements or seek additional evidence a prescription or appointment card might be sought.

 

4.3       Children with long term illnesses and other medical conditions may need additional support to continue their education, such as home tuition.  In these cases the Headteacher will contact the local authority to facilitate the required support.

  1. Absence from School due to Lateness

5.1       Pupils must attend on time to be given a mark for that session unless the lateness is unavoidable. Parents are expected to ensure that pupils are present at registration. A late mark is awarded if arrival is after 8.50am but the register is still open. Registers will close at 9am. If the pupil arrives at school late when the register has already closed, an unauthorised mark is awarded.

5.2       Regular lateness will be followed up by telephone or a letter from the school office.

  1. Absence from School due to Religious Observance

6.1       Absence from school due to religious observance is authorised provided the day                     is set apart exclusively for religious observance by parents’ religious body.

  1. Absence from School due to Unavoidable Cause

7.1       If the school decides that a pupil’s absence was unavoidable, e.g. a catastrophic event at home, authorisation for absence will be given.

  1. Absence without notification

8.1       If a pupil is absent at morning registration and the school has not received an explanation for the absence by 9.15 a.m. the school will contact the parent/carer by telephone to ascertain the reason for absence.

  1. Absence from School due to Leave of Absence.

9.1       As a school we do not encourage parents to take holiday during term time. From 1st September 2013, the amendment to The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended 2013:

“removes references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of 10 school days”

 

The amendments set out that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are “exceptional circumstances”. Head teachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted. The government has not defined ‘exceptional circumstances’ other than to say it is a one off life time event – this would not normally include family holidays.

 

It is up to each school to consider each request individually and we would consider factors such as:

. The nature of the request and why it could not be taken in holiday time

. General welfare of the pupil and family circumstances

. Pupil’s educational needs and ability to catch up on work missed

. Proximity to national tests such as SATS

. Frequency of requests from pupil’s parents

 

Exceptional circumstances will be regarded as one-off situations due to trauma or bereavement. The following will generally not be considered as ‘exceptional’:

. Relatives coming to visit

. Family holidays in UK or abroad

. Family day trips

. Taking holiday to coincide with family who have different term times or holidays

 

From 1 September 2013 these charges will be:

. £60 fine (per parent, per child) if paid within 21 days

. £120 fine (per parent, per child) if paid after the 21 days but before 28 days

Parents may wish to contact the SIDO themselves to ask for help or information. The SIDO is independent of the school and will give impartial advice. The telephone number is available from the school or by contacting the LA.

 

9.2       All applications for leave of absence must be made in advance by the parent/carer.

 

9.3       The school will take into account.

  • The amount of time requested.
  • The age of the pupil.
  • The pupil’s general attendance record.
  • Proximity of SAT’s and examinations.
  • Length of proposed leave.
  • Pupil’s educational needs/ability to catch up the work.
  • General welfare of the pupil.
  • Circumstances of the request.9.4       A letter authorising the absence or refusing the request will be sent to the parent. Where a request is refused, an explanation will be given to the parent.10.       Early Intervention10.1     Monitoring and encouraging attendance is an integral part of the class teacher’s role. It is acknowledged that an early response to developing patterns of absence can be most effective. The circumstances of the individual pupil must determine the nature of communication regarding attendance

 

10.2     Major early signs of absenteeism are:

  • Unauthorised absences.
  • Lateness
  • Occasional/developing patterns of absence.
  • Strategies used by teachers when tackling these early signs of absenteeism.
  • Discussion with pupil.
  • Communication with parent/carer by telephone or letter.
  • Meeting with parent/carers
  • 11. Pupil Registration
  • 11.1     An attendance register is taken at the start of each morning and afternoon session.

     

    11.2     Present marks are in ink with an oblique line; absence is marked with an ink circle.  Once a pupil has been marked present he/she may not leave the premises, unless signed out by a member of staff due to illness or other agreed in advance circumstances.

     

    11.3     In the case of authorised absences, the correct letter should be placed in the circle according to guidance in the attendance register. Unauthorised absences – the circle should remain blank as there are no relevant codes.

     

    11.4     Registers are returned to the school office immediately.

     

    11.5     School registers are open to inspection by officers authorised by the Authority (e.g. Educational Welfare Officers) and meetings are arranged by the school with EWO if required.

     

    11.6     The curriculum committee monitor rates of authorised and unauthorised absence on a termly basis and attendance figures are sent to the LA as part of the School Census in October, January and May each year.

     

    1. Follow up action in cases of persistent non-attendance.

     

    12.1     Where a child has persistent unauthorised absences, parents will be invited to a meeting with the Headteacher to discuss reasons for the absence and possible solutions.

     

    12.2     All action taken by the school will be carefully recorded and dated.

     

    12.3     If attendance remains poor, the situation will be discussed with the Educational Welfare Officer/ Social Inclusion Development Officer (SIDO).

     

    12.4     Once a decision has been made to refer the matter, the school will inform the parent in writing.  Education Welfare Officers may follow up referrals by contacting parents, seeing a pupil in school, arranging home visits, liaison/referral to other professionals.

     

    12.5     The Social Inclusion Development Officer (SIDO) will also try to resolve the situation by agreement but, if other ways of trying to improve the child’s attendance have failed, this Officer can use court proceedings to prosecute parents and fixed penalty notices can be applied.

     

    1. Monitoring Procedures

     

    13.1     The Headteacher is responsible for monitoring attendance registers.

     

    13.2     The curriculum committee monitor absence termly.

     

    13.3     Overall attendance figures are sent to the LA as part of the School Census in October, January and May each year.