Attendance

Attendance – Statement of Practice

Attendance Matters

We place great importance on good attendance and punctuality at Luck Lane and Beech Primary schools and want all our children, with the support of their parents/carers and school, to strive for the best attendance possible. Good attendance is directly related to a child’s enjoyment and achievement at school and is vital to promote successful learning. It is for this reason that we would like all our children to achieve our school attendance target of 97%. Persistent or long-term absence can have a negative impact in all areas of school life, not just academic progress and achievement but also on the development of key skills and friendships. Interrupted attendance makes teaching and learning difficult and undermines the educational process leading to educational disadvantage. Whilst an attendance figure of 90% may appear to be good, this actually equates to missing half a day every week and over a whole year is equal to missing four weeks of school!

We want all our children in Reception and KS1 to be an Attendance SuperHERO – Here

                                                                                                                                                Every day

                                                                                                                                                Ready to learn  

                                                                                                                                                On time

We want all our children in KS2 to – ATTEND – ACHIEVE – SUCCEED

Punctuality

We expect parents/carers to ensure that all children arrive at school on time every day that school is open, unless the reason for absence is unavoidable. We will challenge the behaviour of children and parents who give low priority to attendance and punctuality.  

The classroom doors open at 8.40am to allow all children to be in class settled and ready to learn by 8.50am. The responsibility for lateness and attendance rests with the parent/carer and any concerns are raised with them and not with the child. Children arriving late to class disrupt not only their own learning, but the teaching and learning of the whole class who are already settled into the school day.

Any child who arrives at school after the doors have closed at 8.50am needs to be brought into Main Reception by their parent/carer who will need to complete a “Late Arrival” form detailing the reason for their child’s lateness.

Reporting your child’s absence

A child not attending school is considered a safeguarding matter. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required. If your child is absent you must:

  • Contact us as soon as possible on each day of absence.
  • Luck Lane & Beech schools have a new free school app www.myedschoolapp.com/get please download for: reporting absence, access to information about your child’s attendance, timetable, behaviour and achievements. Messages sent through the app are free.
  • Or, you can phone the Attendance Office on 01484 463366 option 1.
  • Or, you can call into school and report to reception, who will arrange for a member of staff to speak with you;
  • Medical evidence is requested for all medical appointments, please provide one of the following:

Appointment card. 2) Appointment letter. 3) Prescription. 4) Labelled and dated medicine bottle/packet. 5) Doctor’s note/letter.

If your child is absent we will:

  • Send an absence text to your child’s first contact as soon as your child is marked absent on the class register and no reason for absence has been reported to school.  If no response is received to this initial text, a second text will be sent requesting that you contact us immediately with a reason for your child’s absence.  If we do not receive a response to this second text we will ring all the contacts we have on file for your child until we are able to ascertain a reason for absence.  If we are unable to contact anyone we will alert the Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead who will decide whether a home visit or other agency eg Police, Social Care involvement is required.
  • Visit your home address if there are safeguarding concerns;
  • Invite you in to discuss the situation with our Attendance Officer, Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher if absences persist;
  • Refer the matter to the Attendance Officer if attendance moves below 90%;
  • The Attendance Officer will hold weekly meetings with:
  • Deputy Headteacher (Luck Lane & Beech) to discuss/action plan all students under 96% attendance
  • The Attendance Officer will also hold weekly/fortnightly meetings with those listed above. These meetings are to discuss the lowest attending 40 students. This meeting is called the Focus 40.

In cases of minor illness or ailment (cold, headache etc), school expects the child to attend; if parents feel unsure about a child’s ability to attend, they should send the child in and speak to school about their concerns; staff with responsibility for assessing whether a child is well enough to be in school will see children if they become unwell during the day, and if they are unfit to stay in school, a member of staff will contact parents/carers to collect them. Children will not be allowed to go home unless school has made contact with a parent/carer or other person listed as a contact on the child’s record.

Attendance Challenges

We understand that children are sometimes reluctant to attend school and that the reasons for this are varied and may be complex. We aim to resolve any problems with regular attendance by making early contact with parents/carers and offering support. We aim to support parents/carers to help remove any barriers which prevent a child from attending school regularly. In return, we expect parents to contact school at an early stage and to work with us in resolving problems together. This approach is nearly always successful and we try to resolve attendance issues within school.

What can I do to encourage my child to attend school?

Make sure your child gets enough sleep and gets up in plenty of time each morning. Ensure that he/she leaves home in the correct clothes and properly equipped. Show your child, by your interest, that you value his/her education. Be interested in what your child is doing in school, chat to them about the things they have learnt, what friends they have made and even what they had for lunch! 

Maintaining Excellent Attendance

Unauthorised Absence

Some absences are allowed by law. For example if a child is ill or there is a family crisis such as a funeral. These absences will still affect a child’s level of attendance. However, there are times when children are absent which is not permitted. We need the help of parents/carers to reduce these unauthorised absences, allowing children to attend school every day.

We realise that on some occasions these may be a particular problem that causes your child to be absent. Please let us know and we will deal with it sympathetically.

Leave of Absence in Term Time

There is a very clear link between a child’s attendance record and their success in learning. Family holidays should be arranged during school holidays. Parents/carers do not have a legal right to take children out of school during term time. Each application is considered individually by the Headteacher. Permission for a leave of absence during term time must be requested at least 4 weeks in advance of the required date.

Penalty Notices may be issued:

  • If Parents/Carers have not sought permission from the Headteacher before taking their child out of school for a leave of absence in term time
  • If the Headteacher has refused the request but the absence occurs anyway
  • If the pupil has not returned to school by the agreed date with no satisfactory explanation

AND

  • Where the leave of absence has been recorded by the school as unauthorised in the attendance register on at least 10 sessions (5 school days) during the current term

Where Parents/Carers continue to take unauthorised leave of absences in term time, despite having previously been issued with a Penalty Notice, the local authority will consider a prosecution under the S 444 of the Education Act 1996.

The penalty notice is £60, for each parent of each child, if paid within 21 days, and £120 if paid after this date but within 28 days. Non-payment of a penalty notice will normally trigger a prosecution (under the provisions of section 444 of the Education Act 1996 or under the provisions of S103 (3) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006). The prosecution can only be for the original offence and NOT for the non-payment of the Penalty Notice.

You also need to be aware that if your child fails to return to school following 20 days of absence he/she is at risk of losing their school place.

If you still feel that you wish to apply to take your child out of school during term time due to exceptional circumstances, please download a ‘Leave of Absence Request below. The form should be received by the Headteacher at least 4 weeks in advance of the proposed date. 

Further details about attendance can be found in our Attendance Policy.

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