Attendance at school is essential to a child's ongoing success and it is therefore vital that all pupils attend as regularly as possible. The national average attendance for primary school children is currently 96.1%. As a school, any children who fall below 95% will flag up as needing to improve their attendance unless there is verifiable justification, which is shared promptly with the school.
Recent reports show there is a clear link between poor attendance at school and lower academic achievement, as pupils with no absence are 1.3 times more likely to achieve age related expectations by the end of KS2, and are 3.1 times more likely to achieve at a higher level, than pupils that missed 10-15% of all sessions (DfE Research Report, March 2016).
If a child is not at school then it is a legal requirement that we follow up all absences. We ask that if your child is unwell then you contact the school on the first day that they are not attending. Ideally this will be done through a phone call.
As a school we cannot stress enough the importance of punctuality in helping children’s learning. Repeated lateness disrupts routines and for many children, even being a few minutes late, can have a significant impact on their learning, throwing off their whole morning or even their whole day.
We have recently moved to a system of allowing children into the school building 5 minutes before the official start of the school day to ensure a prompt yet orderly start.
Requests for Holidays
Due to the importance of attendance, please be aware that requests for holidays during term time will in the vast majority of cases not be authorised by the school. There is no legal right to take your child on holiday during term time; however, for exceptional reasons, up to ten days authorised absence from school can be granted.
If you wish to take your child on holiday then we request that you complete a holiday form and then return it into school. Each request is considered individually, taking into account factors like the reason for the holiday, its timing and the child’s attendance record.
Tackling Poor Attendance
At the end of each term we examine each child’s attendance and punctuality in detail and pass these onto the parents.
Children's percentage attendance will be rated using the following broad categorisations: "Excellent", "Very Good", "Good", "Beginning to fall below expected levels" and "Below the expected level".
If the attendance is low or not adequately explained parents may be invited into school for a meeting with the Headteacher.
In some circumstances we realise and appreciate that there may be good, valid reasons for any absence and parents may have already consulted with the school about this. However, if attendance has been low and/or irregular we may require you to obtain a “Med 3 note” from your GP each time your child is absent and forward this to the school in order for us to consider any absence due to medical conditions.
Local councils and schools can use various legal powers if your child is missing school without a good reason. They can use the following mechanisms:
- Parenting Order - this means you have to go to parenting classes. You’ll also have to do what the court says to improve your child’s school attendance.
- Education Supervision Order - if the council thinks you need support getting your child to go to school, but you’re not co-operating, they can apply to a court for an Education Supervision Order. A supervisor will be appointed to help you get your child into education.
- School Attendance Order - you will have 15 days to provide evidence that you’ve registered your child with the school listed in the order or that you’re giving them home education. If you don’t, you could be prosecuted or given a fine.
- Fine (sometimes known as a ‘penalty notice’) – the local council can give you a fine of £60, which rises to £120 if you don’t pay within 21 days. If you don’t pay the fine after 28 days you may be prosecuted for your child’s absence from school.
Further information regarding school attendance can be found on the government website on the link below -