We really appreciate how our parents and carers support their child/ren to attend school each day, on time, prepared for lessons and ready to learn. Thank you. Research is clear that attending school regularly and maintaining good attendance in school is vitally important to ensure that your child makes good progress, both academically and socially.
Children only get one chance at school. Setting good attendance patterns from an early age is crucial to help your child keep up with their school work, make and maintain friendships, have fun and to become successful, independent adults in the future.
The Department for Education has recently updated their guidance for how schools should promote good attendance and our responsibility to collaborate with the Local Authority support this. The Government have clarified roles and responsibilities which means that school will continue to work with you, and to support your child to ensure that excellent levels of attendance are maintained.
Good attendance is 96% or above. Any children with attendance of 90% or below are classed as persistently absent. Children with attendance below 90% miss over 100 lessons each year.
Please be aware that referrals will be made to the Education Enforcement team for the issue of penalty notices where pupils have 10 or more unauthorised absences.
Being punctual is also vital. Children who arrive on time each day settle well and are prepared to concentrate and access the learning opportunities provided.
Please be aware that pupils who are late (after the registers have closed) on 10 or more occasions will be referred to the Education Enforcement Team for the issue of a penalty notice.
Our responsibility for our pupils’ welfare and safety underpins our school policy for managing unexplained absences from school. In order to establish that every child is safe and well during the school day, it is imperative that we are kept informed of each child’s absence from school. Therefore, if your child is not going to be in school please call the office on 0121 705 2686, use the school app or click here to report their absence no later than 9am.
Not all illness requires an absence from school. For minor childhood ailments such as coughs, colds, ear aches we would not expect children to be absent. However, when a parent makes the assessment that their chid is unfit for school they should follow the above absence process.
It is a school’s decision whether to accept a reason for a child’s absence and whether to authorise that absence. In the majority of cases, a parent’s explanation of their child’s illness can be accepted without question or concern. In circumstances where there are concerns about a child’s attendance or reason for absence, further evidence of a child’s illness may be requested.
If your child is absent and we have not heard from you by 9am, we will start to call all four of the emergency contact numbers that you have provided in order to gain an explanation for the absence. These numbers must be of people who can easily be contacted in your place. If we still have not been able to ascertain where your child is then we will make a safe and well home visit. If we still have not been able to get a response, we will then report this to the police as your child will be considered to be a ‘missing child’.
These procedures are designed to ensure that we know where your child is and that they are safe and that all is well. In order for us to manage this important aspect of school life, please ensure you inform us of any reason for your child’s absence as requested. As you can imagine this will save an enormous amount of work for the school.
Parents should avoid making routine medical appointments and dental appointments during the school day. In the majority of cases, appointments can be made outside of the school day/during the school holidays.
Where appointments have to be taken during the school day, only the time for the appointment and travel to and from will be classed as an authorised absence. Pupils are expected to return to school for the remainder of the day/attend school prior to the appointment.
We ask that parents/carers provide a copy of the appointment letter or card prior to the day of the appointment.
School acknowledges the multi-faith nature of British society and recognises that on some occasions, religious festivals may fall outside school holiday periods or weekends and this necessitates a consideration of authorised absence or special leave for religious observance. It is reasonable for a parent to allow their children not to attend school on any day of religious observance if recognised by the parent’s religious body. However, parents are requested to give advance notice to the school if they intend their child to be absent.
All leave of absence requests will be unauthorised unless the circumstances are exceptional. I would like to take this opportunity to remind parents that we are unable to authorise any holidays during term time.
To request a leave of absence, a parent/carer should complete an absence request form (available on the attendance tile on the School App) or by clicking here and submit this to the school at least two weeks prior to the date required. School will respond to the request within two weeks.
DFE guidelines make clear that leave of absence during term-time should be regarded as exceptional. An example that can be given is that during 2012 London Olympics all police leave was cancelled. As a result, for that specific timeframe it was agreed that requests for leave for the children of Police Officers affected by the cancellation of their leave would be treated as exceptional.
If, once notified in writing of the decision to unauthorise the leave of absence, the absence is taken it will be marked as an unauthorised absence on the register. If the trigger of 10 unauthorised absences (sessions) is met, then the absences will be referred immediately to the Education Enforcement Team for consideration and could result in the issue of a fixed penalty notice. The fixed penalty notice is a fine of up to £120 per parent, per child, for failure to comply with the law on school attendance.
We use a range of approaches to reward and celebrate good attendance. These are reviewed regularly and include items such as:
There are 195 school days in a year. We are required to assign 5 of these days as ‘Inset Days’. On these days, school is closed to children, but open to staff. We run whole-staff training on these days. We try to give you plenty of notice about our Inset days.
A full copy of our current attendance policy is availble on our policy page which can be found on the menu at the left or by clicking here