We believe that regular attendance at school is one of the bedrocks of ensuring that children are successful at school. Attendance is one of the ‘alarm bells’ to indicate that something may not be right in terms of child welfare/and or wellbeing. The aim of this policy is to set out the process for monitoring attendance and ensuring that swift action takes place to improve any child’s attendance which becomes a barrier to their achievement. When referring to good attendance, we judge 97+% or above with no unauthorised absences to be our high expectations.
We want to have an approach where we are not critical but work with families and children to remove the barriers that are preventing good attendance and punctuality. However, we must not shy away from having high expectations for all children and use an honest approach built on trust with families. We must also remember that one size does not fit all and different approaches will be needed in different circumstances.
What do the percentages mean?
Attendance over 1 school year...
Attendance over 5 school years...
Concerns about your child's attendance?
We have different levels of support when a child’s attendance is a concern. Although there are stages to our attendance procedures, it is recognised that there needs to be an individualised approach to removing barriers and it will not always be used in a hierarchical manner – which stage is used will match the needs and attendance patterns. However, we do need to be able to step up our level of challenge where attendance is not improving despite support.
Step 1: We will contact families by phone if we are concerned about attendance. This phone call is intended to be as supportive as possible and find out if there is anything that we can do to help.
Step 2: We will write to parents to inform them of what their child’s attendance is as many do not realise how much it has been impacted. Again, the aim of this letter is to inform and offer any assistance.
Step 3: We will request to meet with families to discuss attendance and how we can help. Together we will formulate a plan of the support to be given and the improvement we hope to see.
Step 4: We will ask for medical evidence that a child is ill in order to authorise their attendance. We understand that children do have illnesses and will authorise these types of absences.
Step 5: If we have exhausted all avenues within school to improve attendance, we will pass on our concerns to the Local Authority who will then monitor a child’s attendance and may in turn take legal action.
Attendance Support: Attendance support will be put in place, regardless of a child’s overall attendance, if we feel that it is a barrier to a child’s achievement. Where Attendance Support is enacted, a named adult will be allocated to a child and will use the stages above and other strategies to help support children and families.
Leave of Absence
The school and its staff regard the regular attendance of children at school as being vital to each child’s education and development. It is for this reason that non attendances (however short or infrequent) are treated seriously. It remains the policy of the school to only sanction non-attendance during term time in exceptional circumstances and in cases where a child has above 97% attendance or above at the time the request is submitted.
If a child has unauthorised leave of absence you may either be issued with a Penalty Notice of £120 per parent per child (discounted to £60 if paid within 21 days), or, your case could be referred by the local authority directly to the Magistrates’ Court for the purposes of a criminal prosecution.
We always strongly recommend that children’s regular attendance in school is vital to promote and support their steady and successful learning. We do however recognise that in very exceptional circumstances parents may need to request term-time absence from school for their child.
If, due to highly exceptional circumstances, you need to seek permission for absence from school in term time for your child you may access the necessary application form by clicking the link below. Please print a copy of the form, complete it in ink and bring or send it into school.
The Headteacher may authorise a limited amount of absence for a child in term time only in highly exceptional circumstances.
The Headteacher is unable to authorise leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday.
Reduced cost of holidays in term time, awkward flight times, family celebrations (at home or abroad) and awkward family working patterns do not amount to exceptional circumstances.
Please click on the link below to download your copy of the application form for pupil absence in term time, should you believe your circumstances to be of a highly exceptional nature.
DfE requirements states that:
- Parents cannot demand any leave of absence as an automatic right;
- Parental requests must be in writing;
- All requests must be considered on their own merits but there must be very particular and exceptional circumstances before the request will be granted
- Reduced cost of holidays in term time does not amount to exceptional circumstances
- Awkward flight times do not amount to exceptional circumstances
- Parental work patterns may not amount to exceptional circumstances
- Weddings, at home or abroad may not amount to exceptional circumstances
- Other family members booking holidays when ignorant of school term times does not amount to exceptional circumstances