Attendance & Punctuality

School Attendance Information for Parents/Carers

How can you support your child’s attendance?

Attending school every day is a very important part of any child’s life.  It enables them to learn, to make friends, to gain important knowledge and to develop a variety of skills which will prepare them for adult life.  School and parents/carers are partners in making this a success.  As parents or carers, it is your legal responsibility to make sure that your child makes the most of this opportunity by attending regularly aiming for at least 97% attendance.

So how can you help?

Please do not take your child out of school for a term time holiday.

Current guidelines mean that we are unable to authorise such an absence except in exceptional circumstances

Please do not make non-urgent medical appointments during the school day.

Telephone the school as early as possible on each day of absence or lateness. If contact has not been made before they return to school please send them with a note.

What is authorised and unauthorised absence?

An absence can only be authorised by the Headteacher of the school, they will consider each application individually taking into account the specific facts and circumstances and relevant background context behind the request.  An explanation given by a parent/carer is not always sufficient for the Headteacher to authorise an absence.  According to guidelines to schools from the Department of Children, Schools and Family an absence may only be authorised if the absence is due to:

·          “Leave” being given by the school (this usually includes, hospital appointments, and other special circumstances)

·         The pupil being unable to attend due to unavoidable circumstances

·         Religious observance where applicable

·         Genuine illness

Absences which the school is not able to authorise include: -

·         Looking after a relative, pet etc.

·         A shopping trip

·         Birthday

·         Being unable to participate in school activity, e.g. school trip, activity days.

·         Meeting relatives from/taking to the airport.

Why is good attendance important?

We emphasise to pupils the need for good attendance.

·         We reward good or improved attendance

·         We monitor attendance carefully and contact you if your child’s attendance goes below 95%

·         If attendance problems continue we will ask you to meet with our Education Welfare Officer to discuss a way forward.  If your child has a number of absences which are unauthorised you may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice and be given a fine

·         We contact you if your child is absent and we have not heard from you.  Please make sure we have up to date contact details, preferably with voicemail access.

Facts to be aware of

100% Attendance = 0 weeks of learning missed.

95% Attendance = 1 week 4 days of learning missed.

If your child is away for 1 week they would miss approximately: 5 hours of Maths, 5 hours of English or even 10 hours of RE/Music/Art/Science/Geography/History and I.T.

What is Poor Attendance?

 

Percentage Attendance

Actual Days Attendance

Days

Absent

Learning Hours Lost

Excellent

100%

190

0

0

Good

98%

188

2

10

*C for C

95%

180.5

9.5

47.5

Critical

85%

161.5

28.5

142.5

*Cause for Concern

What should I do if my child is absent?

As a school, it is a legal requirement to record absences and the reason given. You are therefore requested to contact the school immediately regarding your child’s absence.  On their return to school you must then send a note explain the absence.  The school office should be informed in writing of absences known in advance such as dental appointments.

Absence During Term Time

Know the facts before making your request for a Leave of Absence

It is strongly advised that you do not take your child out of school for any reason during term time.

Why shouldn’t I take my child away during term time?

It is important that pupils attend school regularly if they are to benefit from the learning opportunities provided.  Pupils who are absent from school for an extended period, miss out on important learning. The time teachers have available to help pupils catch up after an absence is limited.

What the law says:

The current law does not give any entitlement to parents/carers to take their child on holiday during term time. Regulation 7 of the 2006 regulations has been amended to prohibit the Head of school granting leave of absence to a pupil, except where the Head of school considers there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application all holidays, unless deemed exceptional circumstances, will be unauthorised and this may result in penalty notices being issued and legal action being taken against the parent/ carer by the local authority. The Head of school has the authority to decide what constitutes an exceptional circumstance and documentary evidence may be requested in support of such an application.

What happens if the absence is not authorised? Issues parents need to be aware of:

If an absence request is not authorised and it is still taken it will remain unauthorised and will show on your child’s record as such.  Any leave of absence that has not been authorised will be referred to the Education Welfare Service and may result in the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice or Prosecution Proceedings. A £60 penalty notice fine may be issued to each parent or carer for each child, to be paid within 21 days

If this is not paid within the 21  day period, it will increase to £120.  Failure to pay will lead to prosecution with maximum penalties of up to £2,500 or a custodial sentence.

What if I take my child out of school without making an application:

As a school, it is a legal requirement for us to record pupils attendance every day, we have protocols in place that if we do not have a reason for a pupil to be in school we will, contact parents via a txt message asking you to contact the school, if we do not get a response we will call you directly, if still no response then we contact the Educational Welfare Officer to make a home visit, it is often at this point that we are made aware that families are away, and we would then take steps to advise you that we believe you are on an unauthorised holiday and you may be issued a  Fixed Penalty notice.  If, however, we do not have any response from you and you are away for ten days or more then it could result in your child being reported missing in education or even being taken off roll, so we advise that you make an application for leave of absence as the safeguarding of your child is our utmost priority.

I know some people phone their children in sick and then go on holiday:

As a school, we are aware that pupils become unwell, however, we do have procedures in place for when a pupil is reported as being unwell, we record the first day of illness on your child’s attendance record, you should then call in each day to keep us updated, if the illness is over three days then we will require medical evidence. If you are not able to produce this evidence then it will result in your child’s attendance record being changed from illness to unauthorised absence. This could then result in your child’s attendance being monitored and intervention from the Education Welfare Officer.  

School Absence Line: 01279 425600

Or email: admin@littleparndon.essex.sch.uk

If your child does not attend school for any reason, you must ring the absence line before 8.30 am, every day for the duration of their absence.