You will be aware that regular attendance at school is hugely important. Receiving a good full-time education will give your child the best possible start in life. Attending school regularly and punctually is essential if children are to make the most of the opportunities available to them. Government research suggests that 17 missed school days a year = 1 GCSE grade DROP in achievement.
To support your child’s education, please make sure your child arrives at school on time. This encourages habits of good timekeeping and reduces classroom disruption. Our school doors open for the children daily at 8.50am. Any child arriving in school after 9.00am will receive a late (‘L’) mark in the register. However, if your child arrives after registers have closed at 9.10am, this will be recorded as an ‘unauthorised’ absence for that session. This means our records will show they will be absent from that morning session. Attendance for that day would therefore be 50%.
Authorised and Unauthorised Absence
If your child is absent and we don’t receive an explanation from you, we will record your child’s absence as ‘unauthorised’.
Most absences for acceptable reasons will be authorised, including:
• Unavoidable medical or dental appointments
• Days of religious observance
If your child is off sick, please let the office know on each day of absence so this can be recorded.
Leave of Absence
Due to the disruptive effect on a child’s education, you are strongly urged to avoid booking a family holiday during term-time. Any parent who takes their child out of school for term time leave for 6 consecutive sessions (3 days) or more, not authorised by myself (under exceptional circumstances) may receive a Penalty Notice. A Penalty Notice involves a fine of £60 per parent, per child if paid within 21 days.
We regularly track and monitor the attendance of our pupils. If your child’s attendance is unsatisfactory (below 95%), we will explore the reasons. Where necessary, we will invite you into school to discuss ways we might be able to support, and agree a short-term attendance target. Our initial aim is to work in collaboration with families to improve attendance. Where attendance is a concern and does not improve with our support, we may make a referral to the Local Authority. You may be invited to attend a PACE meeting (Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984) or may proceed straight to Penalty Notice fine or prosecution.
I am sure you will all appreciate the importance of regular attendance, and my statutory duty as a Local Authority Headteacher to ensure that school attendance remains high amongst all of our pupils. We have recently completed work with our LA Attendance Officer and the intention of this letter is to make clear the structure that our school will follow to ensure high levels of attendance.