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School Attendance Policy

It is a legal requirement that all parents ensure that their children attend school regularly.  They should also ensure that they arrive on time, correctly dressed and in a condition to learn.  It is only the school within the context of the law that can approve absence, not parents.  Therefore, only the School can decide whether an absence is authorised or unauthorised.  This has to be recorded in the attendance register against the child's record of attendance.

Reporting Absences

It is the parents’ responsibility to inform the school of their child's unexpected absence as soon as possible.  Parents are required to contact the school office on the first day of absence, either in person or with a telephone call by 9.30am.  If your child is ill, the school should be notified of the nature of the illness and when your child is expected to be able to return to school.  If we do not receive information on the reason for absence, then the absence will be classed as unauthorised in the register and on your child’s report.

Please note that if we have not been contacted by you, it is part of our school policy for a member of the Admin Team to contact parents or carers on the first day of absence to enquire about your child’s absence, which also ensures that your child is safe and has not set out to school and failed to arrive.

If your child has been away from school for 3 consecutive days, even with a reason being given, we may ask our Education Welfare Officer (EWO) to make a “safe and well” call. The EWO may also call if there is conflicting information regarding the pupil’s absence or if the Admin team has been unable to contact parents or carers.
All children and families will be considered in the same way, in accordance with our Christian Value of Equality.

Leave in Term Time

The LA policy supports new legislation which makes it clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.

There is no automatic right to any leave or holiday in term time.

Leave of absence must be requested from and agreed by the school in advance of any absence.  If approved, the absence is registered as authorised and if not approved but still taken, as unauthorised.  Documentation is in place to use when dealing with any requests for leave in term time.  This provides parents/carers with information about the possible consequences of taking leave that has not been authorised.

Permission is granted in accordance with arrangements made by the governing body of the school.  Headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.

When considering requests for leave in term time, the Headteacher will take into account that absence shall not be granted unless;
• a request has been made in advance to the proprietor by a parent with whom the pupil normally resides, and
• the proprietor, or a person authorised by the proprietor, considers that leave of absence should be granted due to the exceptional circumstances relating to that request.

These regulations clearly make the point that the Headteacher has the final decision as to whether to authorise the leave or not.  There should be no ‘blanket policy’ but schools should consider individual circumstances.

In deciding whether or not to grant the request for leave of absence the following should be taken into account;

• overall pattern of attendance;
• age of the child(ren)
• phase of education;
• time of the year and examinations;
• length, destination and purpose of the holiday and whether it is likely to be a rare event in the life of the child;
• family circumstances and the parents/carers reasons for wanting to take their annual holiday during term time.

A child’s name can be removed from the register if the pupil has been granted a leave of absence and after absence:
• s/he has not returned by the agreed date;
• and s/he has continued to be absent for a further twenty school days;
• and the Headteacher is not satisfied that this is because s/he is ill or the absence is unavoidable.

Any pupils to be removed from the school roll should first be referred to the Attendance Support Team. 

Procedures for authorising leave in term time can be summarised as:
• Holidays in term time are actively discouraged by the school and the LA;
• Holidays in term time are not a right and should not automatically be granted;
• Leave should only be granted where proper procedures have been followed;
• Leave of absence should not be granted retrospectively;
• It remains a discretionary power of the Headteacher to authorise leave of absence.  Clear advice needs to be included within the school’s attendance policy and prospectus.
• Parents who continue to remove their child from school without authorisation may be issued with a Penalty Notice.

Other Absences

Leave of absence may be given for the child to attend a medical or dental appointment. We may ask for an appointment card or letter for our records.

Obviously appointments should be made out of school hours whenever possible and should not normally require more than a few hours/half a day absence from school. Afternoon appointments, avoiding morning English and Maths lessons, are less disruptive to your child’s education.

Also, Leave of Absence may be given for a child to attend a very special occasion, such as a close family wedding, funeral or award ceremony.

Children should never be absent from school for the purpose of shopping trips, looking after younger children/parents or birthdays or “days out”.

Authorising Absence

Authorised absence will be granted when it can be demonstrated that:

1. The child was given permission for leave of absence by the Headteacher.
2. The child was ill or prevented from attendance by any unavoidable cause.
3. The absence occurred on a day exclusively set aside for religious observance by the religious body to which the child's parents belong.

Absences will be duly considered with understanding in accordance with our Christian Value of Compassion.

Lateness

It is the legal responsibility of parents to ensure that children arrive at school on time.  Any child arriving after the school's official starting time (8.55am) will be classified on the register as late.  Registration will close 30 minutes after the school start time.  Any child arriving after that time will be classified as an unauthorised absence.  Being persistently late for school could result in a prosecution.

At the start of the school day children arriving after 8.55am must enter the buildings through the Main Entrances, as all other doors will be locked.  Children must report to the Reception Office, so that attendance and arrangements for dinner are noted.

Parents of children who are persistently late will be referred to the Education Welfare Officer.

 

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE RECORDS

The Attendance Records for 2015 – 2016 are as follows:

Total number of registered pupils on roll for at least one session: 430 (including EYFS)

Total % attendance   96.73%

Persistent absences (<90%) 4.65% (20 pupils)


SCHOOL ATTENDANCE TARGETS

2016 – 2017

Attendance target   96.8% or above

Persistent absences (<90%) 1.8% or below (7 pupils)

 

Date Approved: 14 September 2016