The Government is taking a keen interest in reducing the number of ‘persistent absentee’ children who miss more than 10% of school sessions.
From September 2015, a Persistent Absentee pupil is defined as having at least 19 days of absence in a full attendance year, regardless of whether these absences are authorised or unauthorised.
ONLY THE SCHOOL CAN AUTHORISE OR UNAUTHORISE AN ABSENCE.
By authorising an absence, the school is saying they agree it is a valid reason for the child to be absent. By unauthorising an absence, the school is saying that either a reason has not been provided, or the reason is not acceptable.
Unauthorised absences are a cause for concern and are likely to trigger contact from both the Home-School Attendance Officer and the Education Welfare Service.
Having 90% attendance is the same as missing half a day every week for the whole year.
It is the responsibility of all staff to promote good attendance, firstly, by attending school regularly themselves. Positive action should be taken to encourage good attendance by ensuring lessons are challenging, stimulating and rewarding. The environment of the school should be welcoming and attention paid by staff to the relationships between themselves and pupils and between pupils.
Parents are responsible for informing the school of the reason for any absence before 9am each day by:
· a telephone call to 01376 583397
Parents must follow this procedure on every day of their child’s absence. A message can also be left on the 24 hour answer-phone machine.
If attendance problems do develop, the school expects parents to work actively with the Home-School Attendance Officer to solve them. Wherever possible, parents should provide the school with medical evidence that their child is ill/having treatment, e.g. appointment card, prescription, letter from doctor, which the school will photocopy and keep on record.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE
Students do not have a statutory right to 10 days’ leave of absence per academic year, although many parents believe this to be the case. The school may consider approving a request for leave of absence against strict criteria given by the Local Authority and only if there are exceptional circumstances.
Applications for leave of absence during term time need to be made on the appropriate form (ask at the main office) before formalising any arrangements. Parents need to be aware that, should the request for leave of absence be refused and the parents wilfully remove the child from the school, the Missing Education and Child Employment Service may issue a penalty notice of up to £120 to each parent for each child.
Once the school has refused an application, it will not be reviewed.
· 98 club: opportunity for children to earn a bronze, silver and gold badge for consistent attendance of 98% or more every term!
· 100% attendance certificates every half term
· Class who achieves the highest attendance each week are rewarded with 5 minutes extra playtime as a group.