Good attendance is a priority at our school because children who are not in school are missing out on the high-quality education we offer them. A 1% drop in attendance is equivalent to 2 days off school – these can quickly add up with ‘odd’ days off here and there and begin to have a real impact on a child’s learning. It’s not just the day off itself but also following days where they may have missed important input and find it hard to then catch up. They also start to miss out on time socialising with friends on the yard and important school events.
Our target for attendance this year is 97% for every child and for the whole school. Throughout the year, we offer rewards, prize-draws etc. to encourage excellent attendance.
100% attendance is the GOLD standard. We appreciate that even children with outstanding attendance may not achieve 100% in a half-term, term or year e.g. due to illness. However, having 100% attendance is still an achievement to be proud of and we do recognise it with certificates and other awards.
90% attendance or below (4 weeks of school missed in a year) is ‘persistent absenteeism’ and will always be referred to our Education Welfare Officer, Mrs. Coleman. See below for further details.
If you are interested in finding out your child’s % attendance for the year so far, please check your child’s MCAS record, or contact the School Office. Miss Moorcroft will be happy to give you the % or a copy of their attendance record.
Where parents have worked with us, we have had great success in improving attendance – a number of children who were persistent absentees last year have achieved 99-100% attendance this year. So if you are finding it hard to get your child into school, come and talk to Miss Bishop, Miss Moorcroft or Mrs. Coleman – we can help!
Please remember to phone in every day if your child is off. If we do not hear from you we will give you a call to check why your child is not in school or nursery. If we cannot contact you, we will continue to try and get in touch in other ways including using other numbers we have on record for you. Remember that you are also required to send in a note explaining your child’s absence when they return, even if you have told us the reason over the telephone. If you forget we will issue a printed attendance note for you to complete. For extended absences due to illness we may ask for a doctor’s note.
When making dental or doctor’s appointments, can you please try and arrange them for out of school or in the afternoon so that there is less impact on their school work. If your child is absent from school because of an appointment, they can only be credited with a ‘medical’ absence if you produce the appointment card/letter. Otherwise it will be categorised as an unauthorised attendance.
90% attendance or below is classed as PERSISTENT ABSENTEEISM and is a major cause for concern.
What can 90% attendance mean for your child?
- 90% attendance means that a child misses the equivalent of four whole weeks of lessons in the school year.
- 90% attendance means that a child is absent from lessons for the equivalent of one half day every week.
- Over the course of 5 years, if a child only attends for 90% of each of those years then they will have missed the equivalent of about one half of a school year.
- Studies have shown that children who have been persistent absentees in primary school are likely to be persistent absentees in secondary school and go on to do less well in GCSEs. In other words, persistent absenteeism can have a long-term effect on their lives.
If your child’s attendance is falling towards this level you are likely to be asked to come into school to talk to us and see if there are ways we can help you to get them into school regularly. We will probably require medical notes for further absences if they are to be authorised. We will probably also make a referral to our Education Welfare Officer, Mrs. Coleman. If attendance does not improve, you may receive a penalty notice and have to pay a fine or face further action.
Please remember that the Government has given very clear guidance to schools – the Headteacher can only authorise holidays in very exceptional circumstances. We always take advice from the Education Welfare Officer and have been told that common reasons given which are not acceptable are: ‘surprise’ holidays booked by other family members; work commitments (unless in the Armed Forces); a history of past family illness.
The most likely outcome of taking a holiday is that you will receive a penalty notice – if this is part of a continuing pattern of poor attendance further action is likely to be taken. The only person who can authorise a holiday is the Headteacher – handing in a letter or telling a teacher does not mean a holiday has been approved.
School does appreciate that travel companies increase prices during school holidays, so to try and help our families we have arranged the school year calendar to give two weeks holiday at the end of May/beginning of June. The second week is not generally not a school holiday and therefore holiday prices are much better. Many of our families do take advantage of this opportunity for a cheaper holiday in early June.
Further information can be obtained from the School Office – please ask to speak to Miss. Moorcroft. Also see our Attendance Policy (available on our Policies page).