This is a successful and happy school and your child plays their part in making it so.
However for our children to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and your child should be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.
It is very important therefore that you make sure that your child attends regularly and this policy sets out how together we will achieve this.
Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning. Any pupil’s absence or poor punctuality disrupts teaching routines so may affect the learning of others in the same class. Ensuring your child’s regular attendance and punctuality at school is your legal responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution.
Helping to create a pattern of regular attendance is everybody’s responsibility – parents, pupils and all members of school staff.
To help us all to focus on this we will:
- • Give you details on attendance in our regular newsletter and on our website.
- • Report to you at least termly on how your child is performing in school, what their attendance and punctuality rate is and how this relates to their attainments.
- • Celebrate good attendance by displaying class achievements.
- • Reward good or improving attendance through certificates, rewards and weekly assembly celebrations.
Every half day absence from school has to be classified by the school (not by the parents), as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of each absence is always required, preferably in writing.
Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for reasons such as illness, medical/dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies or other unavoidable cause.
Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no “leave” has been given. It is this type of absence which can lead to the Authority using sanctions and/or legal proceedings and includes:
- • Parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily.
- • Truancy before or during the school day.
- • Absences which have never been properly explained.
- • Children who arrive at school too late to get a mark.
- • Shopping, looking after other children or birthdays.
- • Day trips and holidays in term time which have not been agreed.
Whilst any child may be off school because they are ill, sometimes they can be reluctant to attend school. Any problems with regular attendance are best sorted out between the school, the parents and the child. If your child is reluctant to attend, it is never better to cover up their absence or to give in to pressure to excuse them from attending. This gives the impression that attendance does not matter and usually makes things worse.
If your child is absent you must:
- • Phone the school office by 9.30am on the first day of absence and on each subsequent day of absence.
- • Send a note in on the first day they return with an explanation of the absence.
- • Or, you can speak with any member of staff that you see on the playground or in school and tell them why your child is or has been off school.
If your child is absent we will:
- • Contact you on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you.
- • Refer the matter to the School Inclusion Officer who may contact you by phone, post or in person.
- • Registers are monitored daily.
- • Whilst legal requirements for attendance do not apply to children under 5, regular routines for young children support the settling-in process and enhance their sense of security. Regular school attendance is still important and is a requirement at Croxteth Community Primary School.
- • All children who have medical/dental appointments, where possible, we ask that these are made outside of school hours. If it has to be in school time please inform us as soon as you know the time and date of the appointment. A copy of the appointment letter should be sent into school.
- • Absences and punctuality are reviewed on a weekly basis by the Inclusion Officer and discussed with the head teacher and school staff.
- • Where appropriate the Inclusion Officer will follow up welfare issues, absences and punctuality either by telephone call, letter or visit.
- • Persistent Absence Data (PA) will be collected at the end of every half term and parents of pupils identified will receive written notification.
- • The use of Fixed Penalty Notices where there are concerns about attendance or punctuality will be considered.
- • School will not authorise holiday requests during term time. If you choose to take your child out of school for an unauthorised holiday you make yourself liable to receive a Penalty Notice from the Local Authority.
- • There is no automatic entitlement in law to time off in school time to go on holiday.
- • Letters will be sent to parents of those pupils who attain 100% attendance on a termly basis.
There are times when we need to contact parents about lots of things, including absence, so we need to have your contact numbers at all times. So help us to help you and your child by making sure we always have an up to date number – if we don’t then something important may be missed. There will be regular checks on telephone numbers throughout the year.
Our Inclusion Officer can be contacted on 07809110140
Parents are expected to contact school at an early stage and to work with the staff in resolving any problems together. This is nearly always successful. If difficulties cannot be sorted out in this way, the school may refer the child to the school’s Inclusion Officer. She will also try to resolve the situation by agreement but, if other ways of trying to improve the child’s attendance have failed and unauthorised absences persist, the Inclusion Officer can use sanctions such as Penalty Notices or prosecutions in the Magistrates Court. Full details of the options open to enforce attendance at school are available from the Local Authority.
Alternatively, parents may wish to contact the Inclusion Officer themselves to ask for help or information. She can be contacted via the school office on 0151 546 3140 or directly on 07809110140.
Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If your child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the day. Late arriving pupils also disrupt lessons and can be embarrassing for the child. Lateness can also encourage absence.
The school day starts at 8.55am and we expect your child to be in at that time.
Registers are marked by 9.00am and your child will receive a late mark if they are not in by that time.
At 9.30am the registers will be closed – in accordance with the regulations, if your child arrives after that time they will receive a mark that shows them to be present on site, but this will not count as a present mark in law and it will mean they have an unauthorised absence. This means that you may face the possibility of a Penalty Notice if the problem persists.
In the afternoon your child must be in school for 1.00pm. Children who arrive in school during the lunch break having been absent during the morning will not be accepted onto the playground or in the canteen.
If your child has a persistent late record you will be asked to meet with the Head Teacher or Inclusion Officer to resolve the problem, but you can approach us at any time if you are having problems getting your child to school on time.
The school has targets to improve attendance and your child has an important part to play in meeting these targets.
Targets for the school are displayed on the school’s website and you should take time to study them.
The minimum level of attendance for this school is 97% and we will keep you updated regularly about progress to this level and how your child’s attendance compares to this level.
Our target is to achieve better that 97%. We are aiming for this level because that is the attendance needed for pupils to achieve the best from their schooling and we believe we can achieve this and be amongst the best attended schools in the city.
Through the school year we monitor absences and punctuality to show us where improvements need to be made.
Information on any projects or initiatives that will focus on these areas will be provided in our newsletter and we ask for your full support.
- • The Head Teacher, who decides on the classification of absences and puts cases forwarded for prosecution or Penalty Notices.
- • All Class teachers, who monitor pupil attendance. Attendance cups are presented to classes who achieve the highest weekly percentage.
- • The Deputy Head Teacher and Learning Mentor who monitor school attendance daily and refer on to our school Inclusion Officer who visits school on a weekly basis.
The school has a legal duty to publish its absence figures to parents and to promote attendance. Equally, parents have a duty to make sure that their children attend. School staff are committed to working with parents as the best way to ensure as high a level of attendance as possible.
Date Of Policy: January 2016.
Review: January 2017.