ATTENDANCE POLICY - reviewed November 2020
Regular school attendance is the key to enabling children and young people to maximise the educational opportunities available to them and become emotionally resilient, confident and competent adults who are able to realise their full potential and make a positive contribution to their community.
Promoting excellent attendance is the responsibility of the whole school community. Our stance with regard to pupil attendance underpins all other policies related to the well-being of children including safeguarding, behaviour, bullying, and support for children with medical needs.
The government has stated that as of September 2020, all children should be in school, on time, every day that school is open unless the reason for absence is unavoidable.
OUR ROLE IN SCHOOL
Hilton Primary School will promote positive behaviour and attendance through its use of curriculum and learning materials and will recognise good attendance appropriately.
We will work with parents to resolve problems which may affect a child’s attendance and will involve representatives of other agencies that work with the school such as the School Nurse, Family Support Officer or representatives of the local Multi-Agency Team where required in order to ensure all children can benefit from consistently good punctuality and attendance. We will use the Early Help Assessment process to support this.
We will be proactive in encouraging attendance for all pupils through ensuring parents and pupils receive information on the importance of good attendance and punctuality and will react swiftly to intervene to improve attendance of individual children should this become a concern.
Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their children of compulsory school age attend school regularly.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD ATTENDANCE AND ITS LINK TO ATTAINMENT
The Department of Education has published research into the effect that missing time from school can have on a child’s chances of succeeding in tests. (02. 2015 Department of Education). The research is based on data from all schools in England going back several years.
The results are very clear – missing even small amounts of time from school can have a significant effect on achievement. At primary school level, pupils missing up to just 14 days of school in Key Stage 2 are a quarter less likely to achieve above the expected standard in reading, writing or maths tests than those with no absence.
It is expected that if a child is absent from school the parents / carers will inform the school office by 8.50am on the day of absence. If your child has a medical appointment please inform school before the appointment day if possible or at the latest by 8.50am on the day. This can be done by phoning the school office or via the parentmail app. The app is easy to use and absence can be reported at any time (no frustrating waiting time trying to get through to the office at the busiest time of the day).
The following actions will be taken when a child is absent and the school have not been informed about the absence.
Day 1 of absence - phone call to parents / carers to enquire about the reason for absence.
Day 2 of absence (if no response on day 1) – phone call to parents. Phone call to all emergency contacts.
Day 3 of absence (if no response in day 2) – phone all emergency contacts. If no response, school staff will visit the home address. If no contact is made, the police will be called as this would be considered a serious safeguarding risk.
MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS DURING THE SCHOOL DAY
If you wish to take your child out of school for any reason during school hours, arrangements must be made in advance to collect them from the school office. Please send a copy of the appointment letter along with a covering letter to the class teacher informing them; include the time for collection, a reason for leaving and who will be collecting them. Under no circumstances will a child be released from school on his or her own in order to go to an appointment. For afternoon appointments, we would suggest that children are collected either before their lunch break or after.
ARRIVING LATE OR DURING THE SCHOOL DAY
If your child is late arriving at school, or returning from an appointment, please take them to the main office to ensure that he/she is registered correctly. If your child has an appointment in the morning and will need a school dinner ordering, please inform the school office via letter or phone call before 10.30am. Unfortunately we will not be able to cater for children arriving after 10.30am on that day if a school dinner has not been ordered. Please also be aware that all school dinners ordered must be paid for unless it has been cancelled in advanced before 10.30am on that day.
REQUESTING A LEAVE OF ABSENCE DURING TERM TIME
In September 2013 the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 came into force. These regulations make it clear that Headteachers should not grant approval for any leave of absence during term-time, including holidays, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
The Headteacher cannot, and will not, authorise school absence solely for the purpose of a family holiday. There may be many reasons for which a family may wish to plan a holiday in term time, including restrictions at work or financial opportunities, however, these do not over ride the constraints placed on Headteachers not to authorise ‘family holidays’.
There is a discretionary power held by Headteachers to authorise absence in ‘exceptional circumstances’. Examples of ‘exceptional’ circumstances include:
Please note: a family holiday is not an exceptional circumstance. We advise that you do not plan for your child to be absent from school without gaining prior agreement from their school first.
Any requests should be on an official school absence request form (giving at least 2 weeks notice) and handed into the school office for consideration prior to any holiday/leave arrangements being made.
You may be issued with a Penalty Notice should leave be taken which is not authorised. If unpaid this could lead to prosecution under section 444(1) of The Education Act 1996.
CHILD MISSING IN EDUCATION (CME)
We're committed to ensuring every child in our school has the opportunity to grow up in a safe community
A Child Missing in Education (CME) is described as "any child of compulsory school age (5 - 16) who is not on a school roll, nor being educated otherwise (eg, at home, privately, or in alternative provision) and who as been out of any education provision for a substantial period of time (four weeks or more)."
If a child is missing school, this not only impacts on their potential achievement but also raises concern about their safety and welfare. Our job is to ensure that 'no child slips through the net' and we chase up any unexplained absences.
Please note, it is a parents' responsibility to inform school about changes to their details, plans to move away or to change schools.
For further information, please see Derbyshire's policy on CME below.