Good school attendance is vital to enable all children to achieve their full potential, develop socially, forge good friendships and have a sense of belonging within their school community.
‘Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential is an assumption so widely understood that it is insufficiently stated – pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.’
DfE Advice on school attendance (November 2016)
We have a whole school target of 98% attendance this academic year. Supporting your child to be in school every day that they possibly can is crucial.
Learning is a gradual, progressive process
- Learning is the formation and development of neural pathways in the brain.
- If a new neural pathway isn't used within 24 hours, it is reabsorbed into the body and the skill has to be learnt again.
- If there are gaps in attendance, there will be gaps in learning as vital connections between pathways will be missed.
- Your child's learning journey is carefully planned so that these connections can be made every day for 190 days a year.
What impact does lateness have?
5 minutes late a day equates to 3 days out of 190 lost each academic year.
10 minutes late is 6.5 days lost.
15 minutes late is 10 days of education lost.
Being late can lead to anxiety and feeling unsettled.
Arriving after registration may also result in an unauthorised absence.
How can you help your child achieve good attendance?
Ensure that every day that your child is well enough, they come to school. If you’re unsure, please send them to school. We will take good care of your child and contact you immediately if they seem unwell.
Ensure that holidays are taken in designated school holiday times, outside of term time. Full details of our term dates for this academic year and next are published on the website to support you with this. Term-time holidays cannot be authorised by school.
Making sure that you arrive at school before 8.50am. This means that your child isn’t late, they don’t feel anxious or unsettled and that they have optimum learning time.
We hope that all of our children will be in school every single day, but appreciate that there will be days that they are unable to attend, particularly if they are unwell. Please see our Absence Procedures below:
First day Absence
If your child is absent from school, please notify the school office before 9am on the morning of their absence either by telephone, by email or in person, explaining the reason for absence and the likely day of return.
If there has been no contact by the parent/carer by 9.30am, the school will telephone the named contacts on the child’s registration form, starting with the first contact and working through the list. Failed attempts to speak to a parent/carer will be recorded. If no contacts can be reached, a home visit will be undertaken. The police will be contacted if no contact is made through the home visit.
Third Day Absence
If a child is absent for a third consecutive day, parents/carers must telephone the school and provide information on the child’s anticipated return.
If there has been no contact by the parent/carer, the school will telephone the first named contact on the child’s registration form. Other named contacts will be telephoned if the first named contact is unavailable. Failed attempts will be recorded.
Our Attendance Policy (see below) explains our duties, responsibilities and procedures.
If your child’s attendance drops below 95%, we will notify you and work with you to ensure that their attendance rate increases. Our target for every child is an attendance rate of 98%.
If your child’s attendance drops below 90%, they will be classified as a ‘persistent absentee’. We will work with you to set targets to improve their attendance, but if attendance rates don’t increase within the timescales that are set, we have a duty to report the absence to the County Attendance Team. A Penalty Notice Warning may be issued which could result in a fine or further legal action through the courts.
Applications for Term Time Absence
Please avoid booking holidays during term-time. Our term dates will be published on the website a year in advance giving ample notice of holiday periods.
Any holiday in term time will be treated as unauthorised absence and will be taken into account when referring parents and families to the Education Welfare Services. We will refer families to the Local Authority to consider administering penalty notices for non-school attendance when holidays are taken during term-time.
Please see this link for further information on penalty notices.
The regulations do allow Headteachers to sanction absence in “exceptional circumstances”.
- Emergency medical appointments
- Day/s for specific religious observance
- School is closed due to unforeseen circumstances
- Hospital appointments
Allowed absence in exceptional circumstances (at the discretion of the headteacher)
- Family bereavement or close friend bereavement
- Other compassionate grounds
- Family wedding taking part on school day – not travelling to a wedding unless it is abroad in which case one day either side of the wedding will be authorized.
- Family crisis
- Examinations off site
- Attendance at an event at the request of a public organisation
- Where parents request leave of absence for religious observance, this would normally be granted for the day of the celebration
- Visit to new school – only if family is relocating
Absences not allowed under any circumstances
- Planned medical check-ups – dental checks, eye appointments etc.
- Family holiday, no matter what length
- Family trips
- Leaving early to travel to an event
- Visit to new school but family not relocating
Applying for leave of absence during term time
We believe that the majority of our parents realise that ‘every lesson counts’ and encourage regular attendance at school. We have high expectations of our children. You have high expectations of us. These expectations cannot be met if your child is absent.
All requests for absence due to exceptional circumstances must be placed in writing prior to the event using the Absence Application Form below. The headteacher will then review each request and decide if it meets the criteria. Parents will then be informed of the outcome.
Please also see the school’s standard response to all applications for leave of absence for holidays during term time, listed in the sidebar.