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Attendance policy

ATTENDANCE POLICY

INTRODUCTION

Regular attendance at school is essential to promote the education of all pupils AND is a legal requirement.  Our School’s ethos demonstrates that children feel that their presence in school is important, that they are missed when they are absent or late.  Our policy therefore reinforces the importance of punctual and outstanding attendance through positive strategies that support pupils and parents.

We also acknowledge that irregular attendance can seriously disrupt continuity of learning, undermines educational progress, can lead to underachievement and low attainment and impedes a child’s ability to develop friendships within school. We therefore take seriously our responsibility to monitor and promote the regular attendance of all our pupils.

The School will take appropriate action when necessary in order to promote the aims of the policy.

AIMS

  • To safeguard children
  • To maximise attendance of all children.
  • To provide an environment which encourages regular attendance and makes attendance and punctuality a priority for all those associated at the school.
  • To monitor and support children whose attendance is a cause for concern and work in partnership with parents and carers to resolve any difficulty.
  • To analyse attendance data regularly to inform future policy and practice.
  • To work closely and make full use of the support from the wider community including the Education Welfare Service and multi-agency teams.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBLITIES

The following people have key responsibilities in the pursuit of high levels of attendance and punctuality:

  • Governors
    • To set and monitor progress towards annual targets for attendance.
    • To evaluate the effectiveness of the Attendance Policy.
  • Head Teacher
    • To ensure that effective systems are in place to accurately reflect individual pupil and group and whole school attendance patterns.
    • To monitor individual pupil, group and whole school attendance and punctuality.
    • To work in partnership with key agencies if attendance and / or punctuality is an issue.
    • To provide Governors with information to enable them to evaluate the success of policy and practice.
    • To write to parents/carers regarding any concerns about their child’s attendance.
    • To arrange meetings with parents/carers to discuss support and set targets for those experiencing attendance difficulties.
  • Class Teacher
    • To provide an accurate record of the attendance of each child in their class.
    • To record the reasons for absence given to them on the appropriate recording sheet.
    • To respond promptly to any issues raised in the weekly analysis of registers by Office Staff.
    • To organise work to be sent home for children in their class who are expected to be absent for an extended period through sickness.
    • To liaise and raise any concerns with the Office Manager if a pupil’s  punctuality or attendance is concerning.
  • Office Staff
    • To prepare, manage and co-ordinate the use of the Facility Attendance Module.
    • To contact parents/carers on the first day of their child’s absence to establish the reason.
    • To ensure that a satisfactory reason for every absence has been established for each child at the end of each week.
    • To make a judgement in conjunction with the Head Teacher whether an absence is authorised or unauthorised.
    • To monitor and track attendance patterns for all children and prepare relevant attendance reports when necessary.
    • To refer all pupils for whom the school has concerns to the Education Welfare Officer unless their absence is attributable to an agreed cause e.g. chronic illness, agreed special circumstance or approved term time absence.
    • To maintain daily diary detailing patterns of widespread absence, e.g. chicken pox, extreme weather, sickness and diarrhoea.
    • To liaise with the Attendance Welfare Officer when monitored absence or punctuality patterns cause concern e.g. regular Friday absence.
  • Education Welfare/Local Authority Attendance Officer
    • To enforce the law regarding school attendance.
    • To support the whole school response to attendance through regular meetings and monitoring individual children’s attendance.
    • Analyse attendance data and provide reports, which support school staff in monitoring and interventions.
    • To carry out home visits when referrals are made by school.
  • Office Manager and Care Guidance and Support Manager
    • To review and update attendance information for parents, including preparation of our Attendance and Punctuality Advice leaflets.
    • To liaise with and support parents when attendance is an issue.
    • To make necessary referrals to the Education Welfare/Local Authority Attendance Officer
    • To organise and run a weekly attendance rewards.
    • In partnership with the office staff, to monitor and track attendance patterns for all children.

ADMINISTRATION

  • The School uses Facility to store and monitor its legal responsibilities in relationship to attendance.
  • Registers are a vital legal document and teachers are required by their contractual duties to take an attendance register at the beginning of both the morning and afternoon sessions.  Registers are submitted electronically via E Portal or returned to the School Office after the closure of the registration period.
  • Registers must be completed carefully and accurately, as they provide a record of a pupil’s attendance. Failure to compete a register accurately leaves pupils vulnerable, and constitutes a risk if an emergency evacuation has to take place.

ABSENCE

Lateness

  • Pupils arriving after the register has been closed at 8.55 am, will be considered as late.
  • Pupils arriving after 8.55 am must report to the School Office so that their attendance can be recorded.
  • Action to address lateness will be taken in line with the school’s strategy to improve punctuality.

Illness

  • Parents/carers are asked to contact the school on the first day of absence to provide the reason for the absence. If deemed appropriate by office staff, this notification will be sufficient for the duration of the absence period.
  • Where Office Staff are not made aware of the reason for a child’s absence they will, wherever possible, contact parents/carers by telephone on the first day of absence.
  • If any member of staff is concerned about a reason for absence, the Deputy Head Teacher or Head Teacher should be informed.

Medical or Dental Appointments

  • Absence from school due to a medical or dental appointment will be considered as an authorised absence.  Parents/carers are requested to provide written confirmation of these appointments.
  • Parents/carers are encouraged to make all medical appointments out of school hours.

Term Time Absence

Current guidance from both the government and our local authority no longer allows us to be lenient when considering requests for leave of absence during term-time. The ability to authorise up to ten days per year has been removed; therefore leave of absence for family holidays or weddings is no longer a guaranteed entitlement. Leave of absence may only be granted in very special circumstances. School is in session for 190 days a year leaving parents a further 175 days a year in which to have days out together and take a holiday.

 

If you find your family circumstances necessitate a request for a leave of absence during term-time, a request must be made in writing to the Head Teacher to explain the unexpected or exceptional circumstances that make the request unavoidable.   When filling in the request form for an authorised leave of absence, please make sure you give sufficient details about why the holiday cannot take place at another time. Most importantly, a request cannot be granted if your child already has a low attendance percentage. The following extract from our school policy makes clear the criteria that we apply:

 

The school may consider approving a request for pupils provided that:

 

  • there are unexpected or exceptional reasons as to why a holiday cannot be taken in normal holiday time

and also

  • the child’s attendance usually averages above 95%

 

If it does not seem possible to authorise the term time absence, you may appeal the decision. A further form will be issued to you if this should occur.

 

If the absence is not authorised, but the leave is taken anyway, the case may be referred to the Education Welfare Service who may issue a Penalty Notice for £120 (or £60 if paid within 28 days) to each parent for each child taken out of school.

REPORTING TO PARENTS AND CARERS

All absences both authorised, unauthorised absence and lateness will be reported to the parent/carer at the end of the academic year within their child’s report.

In order to give parents/carers a benchmark to their child’s attendance in relation to other children in the school and nationally the following grades will be used:

100% Outstanding
99 – 100% Excellent
97 – 99% Good
95 – 96.99% Satisfactory
93 – 94.99% Need to improve
Below 93% Poor

REWARDS

  • Classes who achieve 100% attendance for a full week will receive a voucher for golden time which is an extra 5 minutes  playtime.  Golden time vouchers can be saved up and have a longer playtime.
  • Children who achieve 100% attendance for a full half term will receive a prize from our attendance shop
  • Children who achieve over 97% attendance for a full year, September to July, will receive a certificate.
  • Children who achieve 100% attendance will receive a prize of a fun day out.
  • Good and improved attendance is rewarded in a tangible way with, for example, positive comments, certificates and stickers.
  • Every week the class with the best attendance is awarded the Attendance Bear to take to dress and take to assembly.

MONITORING AND EVALUATION

  • Attendance data will be collected monthly to establish patterns of irregular attendance.  This will include children with: Monday and Friday absences; frequent lateness; periods of extended absence; periods of un-authorised absence; and all children with attendance below 85%.  This data will be discussed with the Education Welfare Officer as part of the regular weekly meetings.
  • The Head Teacher and Education Welfare Officer will discuss the impact of the School’s Attendance Policy and the strategies used to promote good attendance annually and the Head Teacher will recommend an attendance target to the Governors, taking into account the target set by the local authority.

The Governors will agree an annual target of attendance and review this annually at its first meeting