Attendance & Punctuality
How do we promote good attendance and punctuality?
- We will make sure that all classes know what their attendance rate is and encourage within each class a positive and supportive attitude towards attendance and punctuality.
- We will talk to individual children about their pattern of attendance and punctuality so that they can be aware of their goals and their progress towards them.
- We will report data on attendance rates regularly to all parents/carers.
- We will include the attendance and punctuality rate of the child in the annual report to their schools and parents/carers and ensure that it remains part of the child’s individual school profile or record.
- We will give consistent messages about attendance and punctuality by modelling good punctuality, praising good attendance and punctuality and explaining to children why these things matter.
- We will work with schools and parents/carers who are experiencing difficulties getting their child/ren to school and provide support to help them overcome these. Parents/carers can always contact any member of staff to discuss their concerns.
- Where family health or circumstances are impeding a child's attendance or punctuality we will work with local services and with other professionals to try to minimise the impact. For example, we will work with representatives of the medical profession including the school nurse and with colleagues from Social Care and Health. Our aim will be to ensure that a child's punctuality and attendance improves.
- We will keep careful records of each child’s punctuality and attendance so that our decisions and actions are based on reliable data and so that we can carefully monitor performance at child, class and whole school level.
- We will look carefully at in-school factors which may impact on a child’s willingness to attend school regularly and on time. This will include such areas as relationships between adults and children, between children and their peers, the child’s behaviour and progress in school and their attitude towards specific events (such as lunchtime), activities (such as tests) and subjects (such as PE). We will be especially aware of how a child’s happiness and well-being at school can have a significant effect on their attendance and physical health.
Who is responsible for promoting good attendance and punctuality?
- Parents/carers have the main responsibility and we are fortunate that the vast majority of parents/carers fully support and uphold our high expectations.
- All staff are encouraged to see themselves as responsible for promoting good attendance and punctuality, not least by modelling it themselves and by keeping it high focus. They work to identify and if possible, remove barriers to a child achieving good attendance and punctuality.
- The Headteacher and Governing Body are responsible for ensuring that the school works in ways which enable its children to achieve at least the national average rates and where possible to exceed them.
- The Senior Leadership and/or Attendance Officer at each school are responsible for monitoring and responding to patterns of attendance and/or punctuality which impact on a child’s ability to make progress in school.
- The LA’s (Local Authority) attendance and welfare officer has a duty to monitor registers and punctuality and to respond to concerns by working directly with the school, child and family.
How do we mark and monitor attendance and punctuality?
The attendance register for all children on the school roll is taken twice a day - at the start of the morning and afternoon sessions. For each child, the register is marked either as present, engaged in an approved educational activity away from the school site or absent. If the child is absent, the teacher (or person taking the register) will indicate the reasons for absence where known. This is a legal requirement that is guided by the government. For details of our start and finish times for each school please contact the school office.
What happens if a child arrives late?
It is important that classes make a prompt and effective start to the day.
Teachers provide early learning tasks to settle the class before they begin to take the register. If children arrive late, they must go to the school office to be registered for late entry. This ensures that a record of late arrivals is made, for monitoring purposes, and also ensures that the learning of the other children is not disturbed.
We fully understand that a late arrival does sometimes happen due to unavoidable circumstances. For example, there may be a serious traffic delay or a one-off unforeseen event. Whenever possible, it is always better to inform the school by telephone when a child will be late. Where a child has a pattern of late arrival, we will investigate causes and seek an improvement. A pattern of late arrivals after the registers have closed may lead to the school referring the family to the LA’s Attendance and Welfare Officer for investigation.
Below shows how your child’s attendance can be affected if they are off. We aim for all children to be around 96%.
- 95% (2 weeks) 9 days off in a school year
- 90% (4 weeks) 19 days off in a school year
- 85% (6 weeks) 29 days off in a school year
What happens if a child is going to be absent from school?
If a child is going to be absent from school, the parents/carer is responsible for letting the school office staff know the reason for the absence and the anticipated length or duration of the absence. Where no message is received about a child’s absence, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.
If a child is absent without explanation when the register is called, the school staff will contact the parent/carers the same day, wherever possible to establish the reason.
Reasons for absence must be provided by the child’s parent/carer. This may be in person, by phone, e-mail or in writing. We cannot accept messages from primary-aged children.
Can you go on holiday during term-time?
Term-time holidays are generally not permitted during the school year. Absences due to term-time holidays are disruptive to learning and lead to missed opportunities in the classroom.
However, we recognise that there may be exceptional circumstances that require a term-time holiday. In such rare cases, please submit a formal request to the head of school well in advance. The head of school will carefully consider each request and, if deemed appropriate and in the best interest of the child, may grant permission for the term-time holiday. 'Request for Leave' forms can be found below.
We emphasise that such instances will only be considered on a discretionary basis, and the decision will be made with the pupil’s educational welfare as the utmost priority. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding regarding our approach to term-time holidays.
What happens if a child’s attendance causes concern?
Parents/carers have the responsibility for ensuring that their child attends school regularly. There is a national target of 96% attendance for primary-aged children. This takes into account the normal range of childhood illnesses. We appreciate that children with special medical needs or conditions may find this target difficult to achieve. Where the need or condition is professionally supported and documented, the target of 96% attendance is relaxed and a more appropriate target set for the individual child. A child will be considered persistently absent if their attendance falls below 90%.
Fines for unauthorised absence
The Local Authority/head of school may issue a fine (known as a fixed-penalty notice) for unauthorised absence. If issued with one, you’ll need to pay this directly to the local authority – £60 within 21 days, or £120 within 28 days.
The decision whether to issue a fine may take into account factors such as the number of unauthorised within a rolling academic year and one-off instances of irregular attendance.
If you wish to discuss your child's attendance, please contact Clare Doran, our Attendance, Welfare and Safeguarding Officer for Brindishe Schools on 07943 041970 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What support can we offer?
We understand that some pupils may face challenges that impact on their attendance. Our school's attendance team is here to provide support and guidance to pupils and families in such situations. If you encounter any difficulties related to attendance, please get on touch with either your child’s class teacher, a member of the schools SLT team or Clare Doran (FSWAO).