All children of compulsory school age (between 5 and 16) are required to receive an education. As parents/carers you are responsible for ensuring your child comes to school every day.
Regular attendance, including punctuality, helps your child become reliable and organised as well as maximising their learning time. It is expected that every child should maintain an attendance rate of 97% or better. This allows for 5 days absence every year.
Late arrival at school also counts against your child’s attendance and could contribute to their attendance falling below target.
All schools are responsible for keeping accurate records of attendance. School will contact you with any concerns they have regarding your child′s attendance.
If your child’s attendance falls below 90% this is considered persistent absence.
If your child is absent you should contact the school the same day with the reason for the absence. If you do not contact school before 9.15am, school will contact you. If we are unable to make contact by telephone, this may be in person at your home address.
Obviously if your child is unwell school is not the right place for him/her. However if you are uncertain and you send your child to school we will always contact you if we feel s/he is not well enough to be here.
If your child has a sickness bug you may have to keep him/her off of school for 24 hours to prevent it spreading. For certain other illnesses this may be longer. Please inform school so that we can advise you accordingly.
If your child has prescribed medicine it can be administered in school as long as you complete a medication form.
Appointments in school time
Where possible all appointments should be made out of school time. However where it is not possible it is expected that your child will be in school prior to, and/or following, the appointment so that the least amount of learning time is lost. You will be asked to show proof of the appointment at the time you come to collect your child.
Authorised or unauthorised absences
Absences can only be authorised by your child's school. Legitimate reasons for absence are:
- Medical or dental appointments or procedures (although wherever possible these should be arranged out of school time)
- Days of religious observance
- Exceptional family circumstances e.g. bereavement
School cannot authorise holidays in term time. If you choose to take your child out of school for holiday in term time you may be fined. There is a request form to complete if you wish to take your child out of school in term time. This includes time out of school for holidays.
School will consider your request and inform you if it will be authorised or not. If it is not authorised and is 5 days or more it may lead to a fine. If you have unauthorised absences of more than 5 days (10 sessions) over a 6 month period you may be fined.
If you have not completed a request form and school believes you have taken your child out of school for a holiday you may still face a fine.
Where a child’s attendance falls below 90% school will stop authorising all absences for your child and you will be asked for a doctor’s note to cover any absence due to illness for your child.
Attendance below target (97%)
All absences are recorded and the reasons noted to enable us to monitor patterns of attendance for individuals and families.
We have an attendance team in school who work closely with our families to try and ensure good attendance for all our children. We have access to lots of services if we have children who find it difficult to attend school due to medical, social emotional or other reasons.
We send out letters regularly to encourage good attendance and good timekeeping, and to highlight where attendance is slipping and could lead to a drop below target or into persistent absence.
Your child’s attendance is continuously monitored and if it falls below 90%, you will be referred to our attendance support service (BCL). They will organise a meeting to discuss ways to improve your child’s attendance and to offer any support we can you as a school to ensure your child’s attendance improves. If your child has had a significant absence due to ill health, it may be necessary to implement additional support for your child at home and/or in school.
Where there is no significant improvement in your child’s attendance following support and guidance from school you may risk prosecution.
Remember: Your child’s good attendance at school is your responsibility!