East Wichel Community Primary School and Nursery
Setting good attendance patterns and habits from an early age helps children later on in their lives. Children who have good attendance at school achieve more; have stronger, more consistent friendships and are more confident in general. This means that they then have greater opportunities available to them.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: The research shows that missing school for even a day can mean a child is less likely to achieve good grades, which can have a damaging effect on their life chances.
Children are expected to attend school for the full 190 days of the academic year, unless there is a good reason for absence. There are two types of absence:
- Authorised – where the school approves the pupil absence
- Unauthorised – where the school will not approve absence
It is important that everyone works together to help children obtain the best possible start in life with a good education. Parents should work in partnership with the school, notifying the school of the reason for any of their child’s absences and highlighting any areas of concern they may have, so that these can be addressed promptly.
Parents and carers have a legal duty to ensure that their children of compulsory school age receive a suitable full-time education. It is also vital that they encourage their child's regular and punctual attendance at school. If a child is registered at a school then it is vital that they attend on a regular basis.
Timings of the school day
Nursery AM 8.30am – 11.30am Nursery Lunch Care 11.30am -12.30pm Nursery PM 12.30pm – 3.30pm
Reception 8.30am – 3pm
Year 1 8.40am – 3.10pm
Year 2 8.40am – 3.10pm
Year 3 8.30am – 3pm
Year 4 8.40am – 3.10pm
Year 5 8.40am – 3.10pm
Year 6 8.30am – 3pm
If a child is absent due to illness parents should call the school before 9:30am on each day of the absence stating a reason. The school will decide whether to authorise the absence. If authorisation were to be refused, for instance if a child was kept off school for a birthday, then the parents would be informed. A verbal explanation is essential for authorisation of absence. In cases where a child’s attendance is low, the school has the right to ask for medical evidence to be provided for illness. Parents may be asked to provide proof of a medical appointment.
In line with other schools in the UK, leave for a family holiday is not allowed during term time. Holidays taken in term time are unauthorised. Permission for absence from school in term time may only be granted, at the Head Teacher’s discretion in exceptional circumstances. (The cost of the holiday and/or timing of a parents annual leave is not considered exceptional circumstances). Permission for a leave of absence should be requested in writing to the Head Teacher, with as much information as to why any absence is required and giving as much notice as possible.
Leave of absence authorised by the school
Only exceptional circumstances warrant an authorised absence. Each request will be considered individually, taking account the circumstances, such as
- The nature of the circumstances for which leave is sought;
- The frequency of the request;
- Whether the parent gave advance notice;
- The pupil’s attainment, attendance and ability to catch up on missed schooling.
A pupil’s absence during term time can seriously disrupt the continuity of learning. Not only do they miss the teaching provided on the days away, but they are less prepared for the lessons building on that learning after their return. A pupil’s absence during term time also seriously impacts their well-being as it affects friendships and confidence.
School begins at 8.40am/8:50am and all pupils are expected to be in school for registration at this time. Any child arriving later than 8.40am/8:50am should come in the main door and report to the school office you will be required to fill in the ‘Late Slip’ with an explanation. A parent or carer should give a reason for the lateness, which will be added to the register. The School Registers will close at 9.20am.
Pupils who are constantly late are disrupting not only their education but also that of others. It can cause distress, create an unsettled start to the day and means that they will miss important learning time. Where persistent lateness gives cause for concern further action may be taken.
Daily attendance unless there is a genuine reason is a basic expectation at our school and so not rewarded. We offer personalised individual rewards as needed for any children with anxiety to support an improvement over a set period utilising an Attendance Support Card with clear targets, stickers and an agreed reward after meeting the goal e.g - hot chocolate with a friend and lego with Mrs Sheward.
Approved educational activity
Where a pupil is engaged in off-site approved educational activities, the school will check his/her attendance on a daily basis before entering the appropriate code in the register.
Are taken electronically using SIMs.
The school will ensure that all staff responsible for taking registers and recording absence, including any temporary or supply staff, receives sufficient training to enable them to perform the task accurately.
Collection and analysis of data
The Head Teacher will ensure that attendance data is complete, accurate, analysed and reported to relevant school personnel, parents and governing body. The data will inform the school’s future practice to improve attendance and prevent disaffection.
Attendance is monitored for each pupil; where relevant, it is analysed and discussed with all appropriate parties.
Accurate attendance returns are made to the Department of Education within the stipulated time-frame.
Systems and strategies for managing and improving attendance
Attendance has a very high profile at East Wichel Primary & Nursery School and it is monitored closely. There is an attendance focus within the weekly safeguarding meeting where any concerns are discussed and patterns tracked and monitored. Enabling us to put early support and intervention in place where needed. Our Family support Worker leads on this. She holds supportive attendance meetings with families early on to understand the barriers to attendance and discuss how school can best support.
The importance of attendance is discussed in our assemblies, meetings for parents and in governor meetings. Parents are sent regular visual ‘nudges’ in newsletters and school meetings about the importance of good attendance and its links to attainment.
East Wichel Primary & Nursery School has procedures for dealing with unexplained absences, within the day. Staff will endeavour to make contact with the families concerned; if necessary a follow-up letter is written.
Where there are concerns over persistent absence and/or lateness, the Family Support Worker and/or the Headteacher meet with families to offer a support plan and an attendance contract which we ask parents to sign. The Education Welfare Officer is contacted in cases where further support beyond this is needed.
- To communicate the School Attendance Policy to parents and carers and to consistently apply the policy
- To maximise attendance rates
- Contact parents as soon as possible when a child fails to attend where no message has been received to explain the absence
- Follow up all unexplained absences with a letter
- To support parents in ensuring regular and punctual attendance
- To respond promptly to any issue that may lead to non-attendance or irregular attendance
- To discourage persistent absence and/or lateness the school will work closely with families to understand any issues and set individual targets
- To work closely with the Education Welfare Officer to promote regular attendance
Unauthorised absence and procedures
- Absence without notifying the school is marked as unauthorised absence
- Parents will be notified in writing regarding any request for leave of absence.
- It is the parent’s responsibility, that when your child is well enough to attend school, they are present. For example a parent being unwell, traffic congestion or a broken down car is not acceptable
- Unauthorised absence could result in the Local Authority prosecuting the parents in a magistrates court or issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice. A Fixed Penalty notice (a fine of £60) can be issued to each parent. If this fine is not paid within 21 days the amount of the fine rises to £120. If it is still not paid after 28 days the parent may be prosecuted by the Local Authority. (legislation from Sep 13)
School: East Wichel Primary School and Nursery
Date of Policy: Last approved by Governors Date: October 2022
Member of Staff Responsible: Mrs Phillips Head Teacher
Review Date: July 2024