Absence

Attendance – The School’s Expectations

The school has high expectations in relation to pupils’ attendance. This is because for children to receive a wide education and achieve to their full potential, they must be at school regularly and on time. Government research shows that there is a strong link between regular school attendance and academic achievement. The Government advise that an attendance rate of less than 95%, in any one academic year, will have a detrimental effect on a child’s education. One week off school will affect your child’s attendance by 2.63%. It is the school’s expectation that children will have an attendance rate in excess of 95%. Each pupil’s attendance is reviewed on a regular basis. Our Senior Learning Mentor is Mrs Riglin, and she is available to meet with parents to discuss any problems that could be preventing your child attending school. Mrs Riglin can be contacted via the school office.

 

Illness

The school accepts that from time to time children become ill and are unable to attend school. In these situations, we ask parents to call the school office on a daily basis with an up-date on your child’s condition and, if possible, give an indication as to when you think your child will return to school. For minor illnesses such as coughs and colds, we encourage children to be brought to school.

 

Medical appointments

The school expects, where possible, that medical appointments should be scheduled for after school hours or to take place during school holidays. Medical appointments will only be authorised if an appointment card or letter is seen by the school office. In the case of an emergency appointment an appointment card should be obtained during the appointment and given to the school upon the child’s return.

 

Lateness

This is a serious concern because children who arrive at school late miss the vital teaching that begins the lesson and often struggle to grasp what is being taught. When a child arrives late for school they can find this very unsettling as it is not a good way to start their day. Where lateness is a recurring problem the child’s education will suffer. It is also disruptive for the other children in their class.

Please note that:

children are welcome onto the school grounds from 8.40am;

classroom doors are opened at 8.40am;

registration takes place at 8.50am.

Children are marked late if they arrive after 8.50am. In this instance, they must go to the main entrance at the front of the school as the classroom doors will not be open.

Please make every effort to ensure that your child arrives in good time for the start of school to enable us to provide them with the best education possible.

 

Holidays

From the 1st September 2013 changes were made to the law which relates to parents/carers taking their children on holiday during term time. The change in legislation indicates that Head Teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless they consider there to be exceptional circumstances. The amendment in the law removed all references to family holidays.

The Federation will no longer be granting parents/carers time off to take their children on holiday.

If you consider there are exceptional circumstances to support taking your child out of school a Request for Leave form should be completed and handed in at the school office. This must be supported by documentary evidence for our Attendance Officer to consider.

Absences during SAT’s and examination periods will not be authorised and all unauthorised absences will be reported to the Attendance and Welfare Officer.

If the school are concerned about your child’s attendance rate you will be notified and the appropriate actions taken to improve this. Ultimately the school reserves the right to contact Lincolnshire County Council who hold the powers to issues penalty notices (fines) and/or prosecute parents for failing to ensure their child’s regular attendance at school.

The Requests for Leave must be completed and returned to the school office prior to the period of absence; please give the school as much notice as possible of your request. The application will be considered carefully and we will notify you of the school’s decision within 10 working days. We strongly advise that no leave of absence is booked prior to receiving a decision from the school.

 

Introduction of Fixed Penalty Formal Warning from September 2018

From September 2018 we have decided to take the decision to request that the Local Authority issue a Fixed Penalty Notice where unauthorised absence exceeds 15% in a six week period.

 

If you wish to seek approval for any request of absence for your child(ren) from School, then you must apply in writing to the Head of School, at least four weeks in advance of the requested period. You should only remove your child(ren) if the absence has been authorised, and notified to you in writing by the School.  Any exceptional circumstances must be clearly set out in the written request to the Head of School who will consider each case upon its merits.

 

If you then choose to take your child out of school during term time and it is not deemed to be exceptional circumstances and/or has not been approved by the School, then this will be coded as an unauthorised absence and a Fixed Penalty Notice will be issued for the period of absence. 

 

The law states that, where there are unacceptable levels of attendance, schools may request that the Local Authority issue a Fixed Penalty Notice following the legal framework:

 

  • Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 places upon parents a duty to ensure that their child receives efficient full-time education either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.
  • Where a child is a registered pupil at a school and the parent fails to ensure that child’s regular attendance at school the parent is liable to be prosecuted for a criminal offence under section 444 of the Education Act.
  • In some cases, where this duty is not being fulfilled Section 444B of the same Act empowers the Local Authority to issue a Fixed Penalty of £60 per parent, per child, which will increase if the fine isn’t paid within the first 21 days to £120
  • Failure to pay a Fixed Penalty may result in further legal action being taken against you.

 

The money raised from these fines is retained by the Local Authority and the school does not receive any of this. We will continue to work with families to support as much as we can with attendance and further information can be found in our school attendance policy on our website. Should you wish to discuss this matter further, please contact the school office to make an appointment with either Mr Booth, Miss Sharples or the Senior Learning Mentor.