Please read the following information carefully. It sets out our approaches including new developments for celebrating attendance and for supporting holiday learning when term time holidays are unavoidable for families.
IT IS OBVIOUS BUT TRUE...
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.
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.
To promote high attendance with children we now present Headteacher Achievement Certificates to children, three times a year, at the end of terms 2, 4 and 6. Certificates are Gold (100%), Silver (98%) and Bronze (96%). All percentages are calculated from September. Other certificates will also be issued to children whose attendance has improved considerably as the year has progressed. Attendance achievement is always celebrated in Key Stage Assemblies.
IF YOUR CHILD IS ILL
If your child is unwell and unable to attend school please telephone the office with a message. Reasons for absences need to be confirmed by a note to the teacher when the child returns to school.
RECORDING ATTENDANCE INFORMATION
In line with Government directives, notified absences for legitimate reasons are recorded as ‘authorised absences’, all other absences are recorded as ‘unauthorised absences’
Attendance data is recorded onto a computer system at the end of each week with reminder letters automatically generated, to parents, if the reason for an absence has not been input.
The school attendance officer monitors the attendance on a week by week basis and will liaise with the Headteacher, class teacher, Children Missing Education Officer and/or the school nurse as necessary.
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 class teacher or Headteacher.
Our school nurse can be contacted at Paulton Hospital should you wish to seek further advice
Our doors open at 8.45am each morning. Children are expected to arrive in class betwen 8.45 and 8.55am. Our registers are closed at 9.00am. Children arriving to class after this time will be recorded in the register with a Late mark. Children who arrive after 9.15am 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.
REQUESTING A LEAVE OF ABSENCE
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.
With effect from 1 September 2013 the penalty is £60 if paid within 21 days or £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. Failure to pay may result in prosecution where on conviction you would be liable to a fine of up to £1000.
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.
B&NES Children Missing Education Service work 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 will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances.
A leave of absence will not be authorised for any pupil with less than 90% attendance.
A leave of absence will not be authorised for year six pupils the term before or during SAT’s week.
The application must be made by the parent(s) that the child normally resides with, but there is no restriction on who the absence is taken with. (This is a matter for the parents not the school)
A leave of absence which is requested for the following reasons cannot be authorised:
- Availability of cheap holidays
- Availability of the desired accommodation
- Poor weather experienced in school holiday periods
- Overlap with beginning or end of term
Parents who take their children out of school without authorisation will receive a written warning from B&NES 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.
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 The Children Missing Education Service on 01225 394241, email firstname.lastname@example.org