Attendance/Absence from School
Attendance & Punctuality
We work closely with the Local Authority in order to improve school attendance and punctuality throughout the school. We recognise the importance of working with parents and carers who have a legal responsibility to ensure their child achieves satisfactory levels of attendance.
- The attendance target for pupils is above 97%, as per government guidelines
- We reward 100% attendance with certificates to pupils
- Pupils whose attendance is below average will be monitored on a termly basis
- Where pupils’ attendance is cause for concern, letters will be sent to parents. We will continue to monitor attendance. If, after this, there is no improvement in attendance, then parents will be asked to come in and meet with the Head Teacher. The LA Education Welfare Officer will be contacted if attendance does not improve at this point.
We recognise that children may have a legitimate reason to be absent from school, and we are also aware that some families face difficulties which may impact on their child’s education. Therefore, our monitoring is put in place to support families. It aims to highlight concerns at an early stage in an attempt to prevent legal action from being taken against parents who fail to ensure that their child attends school.
We hope that you will continue to support our school by promoting school attendance and by informing us if you feel there are any issues that are preventing your child from attending school regularly.
As a parent / carer you can demonstrate your commitment to your child’s education by not allowing your child to miss school for anything other than an exceptional and unavoidable reason. Research suggests that children who are taken out of school may never catch up on the learning they have missed, which may ultimately affect exam and test results.
Recent amendments to the 2006 pupil registration regulations state:
Head Teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
The government and school realise that it is more expensive to go on holiday during the school holiday period than at other times of the year. However, it is the view of the Department for Education that a child should be in school for the 39 weeks of the academic year and that holidays in term time in whatever form are not considered to be ‘exceptional’ circumstances. Cheap holidays are not a good enough reason for taking a child out of school.
If a request for leave of absence is refused by the Head Teacher but the parent takes their child away, the absence will be marked as unauthorised and the Head Teacher may refer the matter to the Local Authority. The parent is then at risk of receiving a warning (in the first instance) or a £60 fixed penalty notice.
Procedure for applying for Leave of Absence
- Parents should complete a leave of absence form (available from the school office) at least 2 weeks in advance of the dates requested.
- The reasons for the request should be fully explained.
- The request will be considered on an individual basis by the Head Teacher.
- The parent may be invited into school to discuss the reasons for the application (especially when the reasons are unclear) and the impact the absence may have on the child’s education.
- The school will reply in writing stating whether the leave of absence has been agreed.
- If the leave has not been agreed school will explain the reasons why.
- If a child is removed from school without requesting a leave of absence or without authorisation from the Head Teacher, a referral may be made to the Local Authority and a fixed penalty notice could be issued.
Please take time to read the school’s Attendance Policy below.
I hope that parents will work with school to ensure that we improve attendance and reach the target of 97% for this academic year.
If your child is unwell and is unable to attend school, please contact the school office (0191 4901517) before 9:30 a.m. so that your child’s teacher can be informed that they will be absent.