Attendance Policy

 

 

TREDWORTH JUNIOR SCHOOL

Attendance Policy

 

Approved by: Full Governing Body
Last reviewed on: 3 February 2020
Next review due by: February 2021
 

 

Attendance Policy

 

1. Introduction and background

 

Tredworth Junior School recognises that good attendance and high levels of punctuality are central to raising standards and pupil attainment.

 

This policy is written with the above statement in mind and this policy underpins our school ethos to:

 

  • Promote children’s welfare and safeguarding.

 

  • Ensure every pupil has access to the full time education to which they are entitled.

 

  • Ensure that pupils succeed whilst at school.

 

  • Ensure that pupils have access to the widest possible range of opportunities when they leave school.

 

In line with the 1996 Education Act, we expect all children on roll to attend school every day, when the school is in session, as long as they are fit and healthy enough to do so.

 

Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning.  Any pupil’s absence or late arrival disrupts teaching routines and so may affect the learning of others in the same class.

 

Ensuring a child’s regular attendance at school is a parental responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution.

 

2. Promoting Regular Attendance:

 

Helping to create a pattern of regular attendance is everybody’s responsibility - parents, pupils and all members of school staff.

 

To help us all to focus on this we will:

 

  • Report to parents/carers annually on their child’s attendance with the annual school report.

 

  • Contact parents/carers should their child’s attendance fall below the school’s target for attendance.

 

  • Celebrate good attendance by displaying individual and class achievements.

 

  • Reward good or improving attendance through class competitions, certificates and outings/visits.
 

 

3. Understanding types of absence:

 

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 any absence is always required.

 

Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason like illness, medical/dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies, religious observance or other unavoidable cause.

 

Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no “leave" has been given. This type of absence can lead to the Authority using sanctions and/or legal proceedings. This includes:

 

  • Parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily.

 

  • Truancy before or during the school day.

 

  • Absences which have never been properly explained.

 

  • Children who arrive at school too late to get a mark.

 

  • Shopping, looking after other children or birthdays.

 

  • Day trips and holidays in term time which have not been agreed.

 

Any problems with regular attendance are best sorted out between the school, the parents and the child.  If a parent thinks their child is reluctant to attend school then we will work with the family to understand the root problem.

 

4. Persistent Absenteeism (PA):

 

A pupil becomes a ‘persistent absentee’ when they miss 10% or more schooling across the school year for whatever reason.  Absence at this level is doing considerable damage to any child’s education and we need parent’s fullest support and co-operation to tackle this.

 

We monitor all absence and the reasons given thoroughly.  Any case that is seen to have reached the PA mark or is at risk of moving towards that mark is given priority and we will inform the parents/carers immediately.

 

PA pupils are tracked and monitored carefully.  We also combine this with academic tracking where absence affects attainment.

 

If a pupil falls into this category parents will be notified through a warning letter.  If attendance does not improve the school will engage in an attendance improvement process with parents and pupils.

 

The school is committed to working with pupils and parents to maximise attendance and improve it where necessary.

 

5. Absence Procedures:

 

If your child is absent the parent/carer must follow the following procedures:

 

  • Contact us as soon as possible on the first day of absence before 9.15.  The school

have an answer phone available to leave a message if nobody is available to take the call.

 

OR

 

  • You can call into school and report to reception.

 

If your child is absent we will:

 

  • Telephone or text you on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you;

 

  • Invite you in to discuss the situation with our Attendance Officer and/or Pastoral Leaders, and / or Headteacher if absences persist;

 

  • Begin the attendance improvement process through Attendance Improvement Meetings (AIMs).

 

6. Lateness

 

Poor punctuality is not acceptable.  If a child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the day.  Late arriving pupils also disrupt lessons which can be embarrassing for the child and can also encourage absence.  Good time keeping is a vital life skill which will help our children as they progress through their school life and out into the wider world.

 

How we manage lateness:

 

The school day starts at 9.00am and we expect our children to be in the playground before this time ready to line up when the whistle is blown.

 

Registers are marked by 9.10am and your child will receive a late mark if they are not in by that time.

 

At 9.40am the registers will be closed.  In accordance with the Regulations, if your child arrives after that time they will receive a mark that shows them to be on site, but this will not count as a present mark and it will mean they have an unauthorised absence.  This may mean that you could face the possibility of a Penalty Notice if the problem persists.

 

If your child has a persistent late record you will be asked to meet with the Headteacher to resolve the problem, but you can approach us at any time if you are having problems getting your child to school on time.

 

We will encourage good punctuality by being good role models to our children and celebrate good class punctuality.

 

7. Leave of Absence

 

The Government issued new regulations in September 2013 regarding Leave of Absence; The Education (Pupil Regulations) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended by Education (Pupil Regulations) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013.

 

  • Head teachers shall not grant any Leave of Absence during term time unless they consider there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application.  Exceptional circumstances being defined as being of unique and significant emotional, educational or spiritual value to the child which outweighs the loss of teaching time.

 

  • Parents do not have any entitlement to take their children on holiday during term time.  Any application for leave must establish that there are exceptional circumstances and the Head Teacher must be satisfied that the circumstances warrant the granting of leave.

 

  • Head Teachers will determine how many school days a child may be absent from school if the leave is granted

 

  • Applications for Leave of Absence must be made in advance and failure to do so will result in the absence being unauthorised.

 

  • Applications for Leave of Absence which are made in advance and refused will result in the absence being unauthorised and may attract sanctions such as a Fixed Penalty Notice.

 

Each application for a Leave of Absence will be considered on a case by case basis and on its own merits.

 

8. Targets

 

Targets for the school and for classes will be displayed in the school to encourage participation by all in reaching these.

 

The school’s target for whole school attendance for the academic year is 95%.

 

We are aiming to achieve better than this, however, because we know that good attendance is the key to successful schooling.

 

Through the school year we monitor absences and punctuality to show us where improvements need to be made.

 

9. People responsible for this policy and its implementation

 

Headteacher and the Governing Body

 

10. Summary

 

The school has a legal duty to publish its absence figures to parents and to promote attendance.  Equally, parents have a duty to make sure that their children attend.  All school staff are committed to working with parents and pupils as the best way to ensure as high a level of attendance as possible.