Regular and punctual school attendance is important. Pupils need to attend school regularly if they are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them by law. St. Thomas’ Church of England Primary School fully recognises its responsibilities to ensure pupils are in school and on time, therefore having access to learning for the maximum number of days and hours, therefore, as an outstanding school, our attendance target is 100%.
Children who are persistently late or absent soon fall behind with their learning. Children who are absent from school frequently develop large gaps in their learning, which will impact on their progress and their ability to meet age related learning expectations. A child whose attendance drops to 90% each year will, over their time at primary school, have missed two whole terms of learning.
Aims and Objectives
Our attendance policy ensures that all staff and governors in our school are fully aware of and clear about the actions necessary to promote good attendance.
We aim to:
- Improve pupils’ achievement by ensuring high levels of attendance and punctuality.
- Achieve a minimum of 98% attendance for all children, apart from those with chronic health issues.
- Create an ethos in which good attendance and punctuality are recognised as the norm and seen to be valued by the school.
- Raise awareness of parents, carers and pupils of the importance of uninterrupted attendance and punctuality at every stage of a child’s education.
- Work in partnership with pupils, parents, staff and the Education Welfare Service so that all pupils realise their potential, unhindered by unnecessary absence.
- Promote a positive and welcoming atmosphere in which pupils feel safe, secure, and valued, and encourage in pupils a sense of their own responsibility.
- Establish a pattern of monitoring attendance and ensure consistency in recognising achievement and dealing with difficulties.
- Recognise the key role of all staff, but especially class teachers, in promoting good attendance.
We maintain and promote good attendance and punctuality through:
- Raising awareness of attendance and punctuality issues among all staff, parents and pupils.
- Ensuring that parents have an understanding of the responsibility placed on them for making sure their child attends regularly and punctually.
- Equipping children with the life skills needed to take responsibility for good school attendance and punctuality appropriate to the child’s age and development.
- Maintaining effective means of communication with parents, pupils, staff and governors on school attendance matters.
- Developing and implementing procedures for identifying, reporting and reviewing cases of poor attendance and persistent lateness.
- Supporting pupils who have been experiencing any difficulties at home or at school which are preventing good attendance.
- Developing and implementing procedures to follow up non-attendance at school.
The school expects its pupils to:
- To attend regularly and on time.
- To be prepared adequately for the school day.
- To comply with the school policies and procedures.
The school expects its parents/carers:
- To encourage their children to attend school every day, on time.
- To contact the school on the first day of absence.
- To arrange holidays and medical appointments outside school hours.
- To regularly update emergency contact details.
Unauthorised absence is where no explanation has been given for the child’s absence or where the explanation offered is considered by the school to be unacceptable.
Absence should not be authorised in the following circumstances:
- No explanation is offered by the parent/carer;
- The explanation offered is unsatisfactory (eg shopping, minding the house, etc);
- Family holidays (unless granted under ‘exceptional’ circumstances). From the 1st September 2013, the new law gives no entitlement to parents to take their child on holiday during term time. Any application for leave must only be in exceptional circumstances and the Head Teacher must be satisfied that the circumstances are exceptional and warrant the granting of leave (taking a holiday during term time due to cost savings will never be classed as exceptional circumstances). Headteachers would not be expected to class any term time holiday as exceptional. Parents can be fined by the Local Authority for taking their child on holiday during term time without consent from school.