Regular and punctual school attendance is of paramount importance in ensuring that all learners have full access to the curriculum. Valuable learning time is lost when learners are absent or late.The school supports the use of fixed penalty notices for holidays taken during school time.
learners should be at school, on time, every day ( 08.45 ) the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. Permitting absence from school without a good reason is an offence by the parent.
Learners are sometimes reluctant to attend school. Any problems with regular attendance are best sorted out between the school, the parents and the child. If a child is reluctant to attend, it is never better to cover up their absence or to give in to pressure to excuse them from attending. This gives the impressions that attendance does not matter and may make things worse.
Every half-day absence has to be classified by the school, NOT THE PARENTS, as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of each absence is always required, preferably in writing
Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a reason such as genuine illness of the learner or unavoidable cause.
Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which we have no ‘leave’ has been given. This includes:
• Parents keeping learners off school unnecessarily
• Truancy before or during the school day
• Absences which have never been properly explained.
• Children who arrive at school too late to get a present mark.
Parents are expected to contact the school at an early stage and to work with the staff in resolving any problems together. If difficulties cannot be sorted out in this way, the school may invite the parents to an Attendance Support Meeting in order to try and resolve the situation by agreement but, if other ways of improving the child’s attendance have failed, the school may then refer the case to the Local Authority and Access to Education Officers can use court proceedings to prosecute parents or to seek an Education Supervision Order on the child. The maximum penalty on conviction is a fine of £2,500 and/or three months’ imprisonment.
Whole School Policy for Attendance – Aims
1. To improve the overall percentage of pupils at school
2. To make attendance and punctuality a priority for all those associated with the school including parents, pupils, teachers and governors
3. To develop a framework which defines agreed roles and responsibilities and promoted consistency in carrying out designated tasks
4. To provide support, advice and guidance to parents and pupils
5. To develop a systematic approach to gathering and analysing attendance related data
6. To further develop positive and consistent communication between home and school
7. To implement a system of rewards and sanctions
8. To promote effective partnerships with other services and agencies
9. To recognise the needs of the individual pupil when planning reintegration following significant periods of absence.