East Wichel Community Primary School and Nursery
Effective schools convey their positive regard for regular attendance to parents, pupils and staff. Children quickly pick up the message that their presence is important. The twice daily requirement to register pupils can be perceived as an opportunity to receive children formally from home, and serve as an introduction to the session.
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
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 cluster, leave for an annual family holiday is not allowed. 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 is not considered exceptional circumstances). Permission for a leave of absence should be requested in writing to the Head Teacher, with 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.
School begins at 8:50am and all pupils are expected to be in school for registration at this time. Any child arriving later than 8:50am should come in the main door and report to the school office you will be required to fill in a ‘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. Where persistent lateness gives cause for concern further action may be taken.
Children with 100% attendance will be rewarded by the school with a certificate at the end of July.
On a weekly basis an attendance cup will be awarded to the class with the highest attendance.
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.
Any sudden absence that occurs during the day will be picked up as soon as is reasonably possible and measures taken to locate the pupil.
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 is discussed at assemblies, meetings for parents and in governor meetings. Parents are regularly reminded 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.
- 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 discourage lateness the school will work closely with the family and set individual punctuality/attendance targets
- To support parents in ensuring regular and punctual attendance
- To reward good attendance
- To respond promptly to any issue that may lead to non attendance or irregular attendance
- To be sensitive to the needs of the individual parent
- To work closely with the Education Welfare Officer to promote regular attendance
- Governors to annually review the school attendance policy in line with LA guidelines.
Unauthorised absence and procedures
- Absence without notifying the school is marked as unauthorised absence
- Parents will be notified in writing that their request for a leave of absence has not been authorised
- 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. (New legislation from Sep 13)
We do not consider it appropriate that the school should set work for children who are taken out of school when a leave of absence has been granted or during a short term illness.
Currently under review