Good school attendance is crucial to your child’s progress, achievement and chances in life and would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all those parents who always ensure their children attend school regularly and arrive on time.
Our target is for every child to achieve OVER 97% attendance (this is equivalent to a pupil being absent for less than 7 days during the year). This level of attendance will ensure that every child has the best chance to reach their full potential.
Why does attendance and punctuality matter?
Attending school on a regular basis is the key to your child doing well at school. There is a clear link between attendance and pupil achievement. Good attendance and punctuality are essential if you want your child to:
- Make lots of friends and feel included
- Learn new things and develop many skills
- Increase their confidence and self-esteem
- Improve their social skills
- Make good progress and achieve their potential
Attendance Action Alliance guidance
Members of the Attendance Action Alliance have worked with the Department for Education to develop a short school attendance guide, which helps parents understand how they can work with their school and local authority to support their children to attend school and get the right support. It can also be found on both the Office of the Children’s Commissioner page for parents and page for schools.
How can we improve our attendance rate?
As parents, you have a legal responsibility to ensure your child attends school regularly. Any child who is absent from a session of school must have their absence recorded as being authorised or unauthorised. Each year there are 190 school days. This leaves an additional 175 days for holidays, shopping, birthday treats and non-urgent medical and dental appointments. Therefore, the school is very unlikely to authorise absence for any of these reasons.
Where attendance is a concern, we will work closely with parents and our Educational Welfare Officer to give as much support and advice as we can.
Holidays during term time
Amendments by the government to regulations made it clear that Head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless it is for exceptional circumstances. If you are taking your child out of school for any reason other than illness or a medical appointment, a ‘leave of absence form’ must be completed well in advance. The school will consider the reasons for the request carefully and will notify you of the decision within 5 days. The Local Authority may issue a fixed penalty fine to each parent for each child absent when holiday is taken without authorisation.
In discussions with the Educational Welfare Service, we have introduced the following guide for parents:
Our school target for attendance is 97%. We will send home a copy of your child’s registration certificate showing their attendance throughout the year so you can easily keep track of their attendance rate.
Attendance over one school year:
If a pupil had:
98% attendance = less than 4 days absent from school
95% attendance = less than 10 days absent from school
90% attendance = 4 weeks absent from school
85% attendance = 5 ½ weeks absent from school
80% attendance = 7 ½ weeks absent from school
What we would like families to do to support us:
*Contact the school promptly to report an absence
Please phone school between 8.00am-8.45am to let us know the
reason why your child will not be attending school.
*Make medical and dental appointments outside of school hours
Where possible, do not arrange non-emergency doctors, medical or dental
appointments during school hours. If this is not possible, please try to arrange
appointments during the afternoon session.
*Please ensure your child arrives at school on time each day
Please make sure your child is at school at 8:35am. Pupils who arrive
after the start of the school day will be marked as late which can count
as an unauthorised absence.
Children are regularly rewarded for good attendance throughout the year. Our attendance mascot, SAM the dog, makes regular appearances at the school gate at the start of the day and gives out certificates and prizes each term to those pupils with 100% attendance.
In addition to these rewards, for their first half term in school, all of the Year R pupils with 100% attendance for the whole week will meet SAM on a Friday (if they wish to).
Those pupils who have good attendance for their first half term will receive a certificate from SAM.