October 15, 2014

Attendance/Absence from School

Punctuality

School registers are taken twice daily. A day counts as 2 attendances. All children are able to enter the school at 8.40 a.m. and are expected to be in class by 8.50 a.m. for the morning session. Morning registration ends at 9.00 a.m. Any child who arrives after this time will be marked as late. After 9.30 a.m., this will become an Unauthorised Absence, unless medical evidence has been provided. The afternoon registers are taken at 1.00 p.m. and close at 1.10 p.m.

It is essential that children arriving and leaving with a parent / carer outside normal hours are signed in or out from the school office. The signing in / out register in the office is used in the case of an emergency and a fire drill.

Illness and Medical Appointments

Every effort should be made to arrange medical appointments outside school hours. If it is necessary for a child to be out of school for this reason, the child should return to school directly after the appointment should the school day not have ended.

The school office should be informed before 9.15am on the morning of the first day of a child’s absence through illness and then each morning, if appropriate, for the duration of the absence.

For an absence of more than three days the school require a written explanation of why the child was absent. The school office will request this if it is not produced.

Medical certificates may be required if an absence is greater than five days or overall attendance is acceptable.

Leave of Absence

Parents are required under the Education Act (1996) to ensure their child attends school regularly.  Due to recent amendments (April 2013) that have been made to the Department for Education’s Pupil Registration Regulations to address attendance issues, it has been made clear to Head Teachers that they should not grant leave of absence during term time unless there are “exceptional circumstances”. The law does not grant parents/carers an automatic right to take their child out of school during term time. It is a common misconception that pupils are allowed to take up to ten days holiday in term time during any academic year.

If the request for a leave of absence is refused and the absence is recorded as unauthorised, the Head Teacher may refer the matter to the Local Authority requesting a Penalty Notice be issued against you.

A Penalty Notice is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt, rising to £120 if the notice is paid after 21 days but within 28 days.  If the penalty is not paid in full by the end of the 28 day period the Local Authority may prosecute for the offence to which the notice applies. Where there is more than one child, each parent may be issued with a Penalty Notice in respect of each child.

As a parent/carer, you can demonstrate your commitment to your child’s education by not allowing your child to miss school for anything other than an exceptional and unavoidable reason.  Research suggests that children who are taken out of school may never catch up on the learning they have missed, which may ultimately affect exam and test results.

What does good attendance look like?

Each child’s attendance can be summarised as:

97%+ Excellent attendance. A level which will help all aspects of a child’s progress and life in school.
95 – 96% Average attendance. A level in-line with national averages.
90 – 94% Poor attendance. Absence is now affecting attainment and progress and the school will seek to liaise with parents / carers to improve their child’s attendance levels
Below 90% This results in a Persistent Absence and is unacceptable. Absence IS causing serious concern and IS affecting attainment and progress. The school and the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) will seek to work with the parents / carers to improve the situation.


Attendance Procedure

LOC1 Letter This letter will be issued if attendance is below 92% and the school has concerns.
LOC2 Letter This letter will be issued to inform parents that the school will not authorise any more absence until medical evidence is provided.
LOC3 Formal Meeting A phone call will be made to invite parents to school for a meeting to discuss concerns about attendance and see whether the school can offer any support.
Referral EWO A letter will be issued to inform parents that their child is being referred to the EWO and if necessary, may be placed on the Fast Track Programme.


Fast Track Programme

St Anne’s work closely with Cardinal Hume Catholic School to help improve attendance throughout the school. Fast Track promotes early intervention to ensure that attendance and punctuality issues are dealt with effectively to help your child attend school both regularly and punctually. It involves pupils, their parents and the school.

Week 1 The fast Track process begins and home visits/appointments take place if requested by parents/carers.
Week 3 Formal interview. If the child’s attendance is still of concern, parents/carers will be invited to attend a formal meeting in school.
Week 6 Final warning letter. If there is no improvement in the child’s attendance a final warning letter will be issued.
Week 9 Final review. If the child’s attendance is satisfactory, no formal action will be taken and the usual school monitoring procedures will continue. If there is no improvement in the child’s attendance parents/carers may be referred to the local authority’s Legal Intervention Team. This can result in the issue of a penalty notice or prosecution in the magistrates’ court.

Persistent absences and lateness will be referred to an Education Welfare Officer (EWO).

A copy of our Attendance Policy can be downloaded below:

Attendance Policy_April 2017