As you know one of the main priorities for the school is to continue to raise the level of attendance. We have already done an amazing job but this needs to continue.

Target for 2017/18: 97.5%

If your child is not at school, they’re simply not learning. If your child has attendance of below 95% that’s equivalent to 1/2 a day week off from school! This is simply not good enough.

The school pays very close attention to attendance. 85% of a child’s life is spent at home, as educationalists we have to do the business with 15% of child time. If your child is not in school that is obviously reduced even more. We have a zero tolerance approach to children missing school unnecessarily.

Please read our attendance principles:

General principles

Good attendance means that children usually make good, consistent progress in their school learning. St Martin’s CE expects good attendance from its pupils, in order for them to make the most of the opportunities that the school has to offer. We rely on our partnership with parents to ensure that this is achieved as it is the responsibility of the parents to see that children attend school regularly and are punctual on all occasions.

St Martin’s had a 96-97% average throughout the last year and therefore we are anxious to maintain this record. Recent government targets have been introduced which also encourage us to review the number of persistent absences a child has in school. A persistent absentee is categorised as a child who has an 85% or less attendance record at school.

We would ask parents to help the school by notifying us of all absences on the first day if possible, and always to ensure that any absence is covered by a note on your child's return to school. Any absence which is known in advance, such as medical appointments, should be notified to the school in writing beforehand or through a phone call.

Our children are praised for good attendance which through working with your partnership, we wish to continue. We give certificates at the end of term for children whose attendance has been excellent. At the end of every term, the class with the highest attendance score is rewarded with a school trip.

The school day

Our school day starts at 8.40am with times tables development ,class registers are marked at 8.55 am. Pupils who are not present for registration will be marked as absent initially. If they arrive within the following 15minutes, the mark will be changed to late. If you child arrives any later, a note/explanation will be required.

Authorised and unauthorised absence

The law requires that all schools must now show the difference between authorised and unauthorised absence.

Authorised absence can be:

  • Sickness.
  • Medical or dental appointments which cannot be arranged outside school hours.
  • Days of religious observance.
  • An exceptional circumstance which was unavoidable and a one-off incidence- ie. Compassionate leave.

Unauthorised absence is:

  • Truancy.
  • Staying at home to look after younger children or sick relatives.
  • Going shopping or having a haircut.
  • Any absence which the school has not been informed about, either by letter or telephone.
  • Any family holiday in term time.

Absences during Term Time

From the 1st September 2013, all schools are unable to authorise any requests for absences relating to holidays in term time. We do appreciate that some parents who work for the armed services have to take holidays at the instruction of their employers and therefore cannot avoid school time. Other exceptional circumstances could include unforeseen or unavoidable family situations. These are the families for whom the system is designed. Only in exceptional circumstances can extended holidays be agreed with the Headteacher’s approval. Holiday prices, last minute deals and the fact that the parents have booked a holiday before checking with the school are not considered to be exceptional circumstances.

Please notify the school in writing ,on the pro forma provided ,to request to take your child out of school. Requests need to be made in advance so that sufficient home learning can be provided, alongside the child’s attendance and progress reports. If parents/carers do still take a child out of school during term time and this has been unauthorised by school, the school is placed in a position that it may request a penalty notice be issued by Cornwall County Council, together with involvement from our Educational Welfare Officer.

Leaving school during school hours

If parents require children to leave school early for a valid reason a request must be made to the Class Teacher or Headteacher.

  • Parents are expected to meet the child at the school.
  • No child will be released unless a parent or guardian has made a request.
  • If a child does need to leave early, parents are expected to sign their child out of school at the office.

Monitoring attendance

When a child’s attendance is a cause for concern, (this has currently now been set at 90% and below) or they have been absent from school with no communication with the school, it is brought to the attention of ourEducation Welfare Officer (EWO). The aim is to work with parents to increase their child’s attendance at school.

Please remember:

  • Ring the school before 9.00am on the first day of an absence or send a written message.
  • Consider carefully taking holidays in school time and the effect this has on your child’s education. These will not be authorised and you may incur a fine.