Attendance, Absence and Holidays

If your child is ill, it is essential that you inform school as soon as possible by telephone as we have a statutory obligation to monitor attendance of all our pupils.

We are required to check why a child is absent from the academy as part of Safeguarding. If school is not informed of a reason for absence, their parent / carer will be contacted by text message and requested to contact school. If no contact is made, a follow-up call will be made. If we have not seen the child for 3 consecutive days, the Director of Safeguarding or member of the Senior Leadership Team will make a home visit and insist that they see the child. These measures are to ensure the safeguarding of all our children.

It is also a requirement that school informs parents the number of unauthorised absences – without a telephone message or note explaining a child’s absence, any absence will be unauthorised. The Director of Safeguarding works with families to improve attendance when attendance becomes a concern. School’s attendance target is a minimum of 95%. If your child’s level of attendance falls below this level it becomes a cause for concern and you will be contacted. You will be sent a weekly text to inform you of your child’s level of attendance – the aim is always for 100% but definitely at 95% or above.

Whilst we appreciate birthdays are special, they are not an excuse for children to be absent from school. Every academy day counts to support your child to become the best that they can be. Families are expected to provide evidence for any absence.


Taking children out of the academy

We realise that from time to time it is necessary to take children out of the academy during academy hours to attend hospital appointments etc, but it is important that you let the Admin team know in advance, especially if the appointment goes over lunchtime. We require evidence of the appointment - letter, appointment card. Our pupils may access a variety of learning opportunities which may not be on site, so if you arrive to take them to an appointment without prior notice, they may not be on the ground to collect.


Holidays during term-time

All children are entitled to their education. Removing children from their curriculum entitlement will have a negative impact on their learning and progress towards achieving their 'Age Related Expectations.' Should you wish to explore a planned absence from learning, parents and guardians are required to make an application in writing to the Principal to withdraw their child from school during term time a term in advance. The application must be made in writing to the Principal outlining the exceptional circumstances for your child to be absent.

It is at the discretion of the Principal how many days your child can be away from the Academy if the planned absence is granted.

Parents can be fined for taking a child on holiday during term time without the permission of the Academy. Please see the following link for more information: https://www.gov.uk/school-attendance-absence

Miss Barry, Director of Safeguarding & Well-being, will support families if they wish to make an application.

Well-meaning family members can sometimes provide ‘surprise’ breaks away during term time. It is important that family members are informed that the absence from the academy will be recorded and may result in the Attendance Policy being applied, which can lead to court appearances and fines being imposed.

Authorisation for absence will only be given if attendance is above 95% and exceptional circumstances are evidenced.

No parent can demand leave of absence for the purpose of a holiday as a right.


Punctuality

It is essential that your child arrives at the academy on time. The morning bell rings for children to enter school at 8.40am, so that all our KS1 and KS2 pupils enter the hall via the veranda steps in the KS2 playground to participate in ‘Wake up & Boogie’ activities. A prompt, punctual start to the day sets a positive tone for learning for the rest of the day. Being just 5 minutes late each day adds up to 16 hours of lost learning time over the year! If your child is late they may miss out on feedback, targeted support that would assist them to become the best that they can be - every minute really does count!

Our Year 6 pupils' day begins a little earlier at 8am when they enjoy a healthy breakfast followed by an early start to their learning in their own breakfast hub.

Rewards

As part of our commitment to our children we celebrate and reward their efforts and that of their families when attendance meets our expectations.

  • The children compete on an individual and class basis for attendance and punctuality awards. At the end of each week, classes who have beaten the whole school attendance target of 95% receive a certificate and enjoy a visit with a treat from Miss Barry - often hot chocolate and cookies! The class with the best attendance for the whole term will receive a prize.
  • At the end of each half-term, pupils whose attendance is 98% or above have their names added to a draw for a Family treat. Prizes have included Leisure passes and restaurant vouchers.
  • Pupils who have made significant improvements in their attendance will be awarded a certificate, their efforts celebrated and a special mug with treats inside.

95% & 100% attendance

  • At the end of the academic year, all pupils' with 100% attendance have their names added to a draw with the chance to win a family holiday.
  • In 2013, we sent the winning family for a week in a caravan on a leisure park.
  • In 2014 we sent our winner, Rosy and her family on a coach trip where they visited Legoland and the sights of London!
  • In 2015, Lily-Jo and her family visited Legoland and Chesington experience.
  • Liana and her family enjoyed a fabulous adventure in 2016 and her brother was lucky enough to win in 2017 so their families enjoyed amazing visits and hotels stays two years in a row!
  • The winner will be drawn from all the pupils with 100% attendance in the last assembly of the year in July.
  • Each year the Academy Forum is consulted on a special treat for those pupils above 95% attendance and for those with 100% attendance. Arrangements are made for activities and experiences that reflect the requests for all pupils whose attendance is above our expected minimum 95%. Pupils with 100% attendance are all treated to a lunch in a local restaurant and transported there and back in luxurious Limo style! Two staff with 100% attendance also have their names drawn 'from the hat' and join the children for lunch.

Punctuality Panda is awarded to the class on a weekly basis who has the best record of being in school on time.