Reviewed by: xx, PP&C Committee xxx 2022
Next Review: xx
Parents/carers have the legal responsibility for ensuring their child’s good attendance and punctuality. The School and Governors work together with other professionals and agencies to ensure that all pupils are encouraged and supported to develop good attendance habits. Procedures in this policy are followed to ensure this happens.
Regular and punctual school attendance is very important. Pupils need to attend school regularly if they are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them by law. Kelvin Grove School fully recognises its responsibilities to ensure pupils are in school and on time, therefore having access to learning for the maximum number of days and hours.
We take every opportunity to recognise and celebrate good and improved punctuality. Appendix 1 – Rewards for Attendance & Punctuality
Children who are persistently late or absent soon fall behind with their learning. Children who are absent from school frequently develop large gaps in their learning which will impact on their progress and their ability to meet age related learning expectations.
This policy has been written to adhere to the relevant Children Acts, Education Acts, Regulations and Guidance from the Department for Education in addition to guidance from the Local Authority.
Aims and Objectives
This attendance policy ensures that all parents & carers, staff and governors in our school are fully aware of and clear about the actions necessary to promote good attendance.
Through this Policy we aim to:
- Improve pupils’ progress and attainment by ensuring high levels of attendance and punctuality.
- Achieve a minimum of 95% attendance
- Create an ethos in which good attendance and punctuality are recognised as the norm and seen to be valued by the school
- Raise the awareness in parents, carers and pupils of the importance of uninterrupted attendance and punctuality at every stage of a child’s education.
- Work in partnership with pupils, parents, staff and the Education Welfare Service so that all pupils realise their potential, unhindered by unnecessary absence
- Promote a positive and welcoming atmosphere in which pupils feel safe, secure, and valued, and encourage in pupils a sense of their own responsibility
- Establish a pattern of monitoring attendance and ensure consistency in recognising achievement and dealing with difficulties
- Recognise the key role of all staff in promoting good attendance.
We maintain and promote good attendance and punctuality through:
- Raising awareness of attendance and punctuality issues among all staff, parents and pupils.
- Ensuring that parents have an understanding of the responsibility placed on them for making sure their child attends regularly and punctually.
- Equipping children with the life skills needed to take responsibility for good school attendance and punctuality appropriate to the child’s age and development.
- Maintaining effective means of communication with parents, pupils, staff and governors on school attendance matters.
- Developing and implementing procedures for identifying, reporting and reviewing cases of poor attendance and persistent lateness.
- Supporting pupils who have been experiencing any difficulties at home or at school which are preventing good attendance.
- Developing and implementing effective procedures to follow up non-attendance at school.
Our school will undertake to follow the following procedures to support good attendance:
- Maintain appropriate registration processes
- Maintain accurate and appropriate attendance data
- Communicate clearly the attendance procedures and expectations to all staff, governors, parents and pupils.
- Have consistent and systematic daily records which give detail of any absence and lateness
- Follow up absences and persistent lateness if parents/carers have not communicated with the school
- Inform parents/carers what constitutes authorised and unauthorised absence
- Strongly discourage unnecessary absence caused by holidays taken during term time
- Work with parents to improve individual pupil’s attendance and punctuality
- To refer to the Educational Welfare Service any child whose attendance causes concern and where parents/carers have not responded to school initiatives to improve
- Report attendance statistics to Lewisham LA and the DfE where requested
- Staff to raise any attendance or punctuality concerns with SLT.
Parents & Carers
- Ensure children attend school regularly. Absence should only happen when a child is significantly ill and therefore unfit to attend school, or if there is an unavoidable/unforeseen reason or circumstance which is causing a difficulty/period of difficulty
- Telephone each morning of any absence to give the reason and when the child is likely to return to school or complete the ‘Pupil sickness absence form‘ which can be found under the quick links section on the front of the school website
- Arrange all non-emergency medical appointments out of school hours or during school holidays
- Provide medical evidence (such as appointment cards or prescribed medication) if there are frequent absences that are illness. Failure on the part of the parent to provide such medical evidence will result in absences being recorded as unauthorised and referral to the Attendance & Welfare Service will be considered.
- Keep school updated by telephone if a child has any extended period of absence
- Ensure that school always has current contact numbers; this includes all telephone numbers, child minders and emergency contact details, this can be completed electronically through SIMS Parent.
- Talk to the school as soon as possible about any child’s reluctance to come to school so that problems can be quickly identified and dealt with.
All members of school staff have a responsibility for identifying trends in attendance and punctuality. The following includes a more specific list of the kinds of responsibilities which individuals might have
- Collating and recording registration and attendance information.
- Taking and recording messages from parents regarding absence
- Ensuring the Absence/Late Book is completed
- Contacting parents of absent children on each day of absence where no contact has been made, this will be by telephone
- Recording details of children who arrive late or go home
- Keeping an overview of class and individual attendance looking particularly for either poor overall attendance, anomalies in patterns of attendance and/ or unusual explanations for attendance offered by children and their parents/ carers and reporting concerns to the SLT
- Producing standard letters regarding attendance
Class teacher & Teaching Assistants
- Keeping an overview of class and individual attendance looking particularly for either poor overall attendance, anomalies in patterns of attendance and/ or unusual explanations for attendance offered by children and their parents/ carers
- Informing the SLT where there are concerns and acting upon them
- Providing background information to support referrals
- Monitoring follow-up once actions have been taken to correct attendance concerns
- Emphasising with their class the importance of good attendance and promptness
- Following up absences with immediate requests for explanation
- Discussing attendance issues at consultation evenings where necessary
SLT & other key staff
- Overall monitoring of school attendance
- Trends in authorised and unauthorised absence
- Contacting families where concerns are raised about absence including arranging meetings to discuss attendance issues
- Monitoring individual attendance where concerns have been raised
- Making referrals to the AWS service
- Providing reports and background information to inform discussion with the school’s AWS
- Liaising with other professionals to determine potential sources of difficulties and reasons for absence.
- Signposting and supporting parents to improve attendance/punctuality.
- Reporting on attendance to governors
All absences are recorded as either authorised or unauthorised absences on the register. It is important that we receive accurate information from parents with reasons for the child’s absence. If the absence is due to illness, parents need to be specific about what is wrong as ‘unwell’ cannot be accepted as a reason. This information is used to determine whether the absence is authorised or unauthorised. The Headteacher has the responsibility to determine whether absences are authorised or unauthorised.
Attendance is expected to be 95% or above, if a child’s attendance is 90% or below they become what the government term ‘Persistent Absentees’.
When there are concerns about a child’s attendance we will write to you, if these concerns continue we arrange a meeting and discuss the issues and identify any support that may be available to help improve attendance.
If there is no improvement we will make a referral to the Local Authority and this could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice/legal action.
An absence is classified as authorised when a child has been away from school for a legitimate reason and the school has received notification from a parent or carer. For example, if a child has been unwell and the parent telephones the school to explain the absence or reports the absence through the ‘Pupil sickness absence‘ form
Only the school can make an absence authorised. Parents do not have this authority. Consequently, not all absences supported by parents will be classified as authorised.
An absence is classified as unauthorised when a child is away from school without the permission of the school.
Therefore, the absence is unauthorised if a child is away from school without good reason, even with the support of a parent.
- It is important to be on time for the first part of the school day, if children miss learning they will not fulfil their potential
- Parents are responsible for their child arriving at school on time each day
- Children must be in the line in the playground by 8.55am to start the day promptly at 9 o’clock
- If a child arrives after the school gates are closed they must enter through main reception area, where they a reason for lateness must be provided
- Late arrivals are disruptive to the whole class and often embarrassing for your child.
- Arrival after the close of registration will be marked as unauthorised absence code ‘U’ in. This is effectively an absence.
- All lateness is recorded daily. The number of minutes late and the reason for lateness if known will also be recorded.
- Lateness is monitored by the Local Authority’s Attendance & Welfare Officer
- Persistent lateness will be followed up by the SLT
- Parents are responsible for collecting their child from school on time. Persistent late collection may result in the school referring the matter to Lewisham’s Children Social Care.
Exceptional Circumstances Leave – Term Time Leave of Absence
There is no entitlement to time off during term time. Leave of absence is only granted in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Headteacher in accordance with the school policy as agreed by the governing body.
It is our policy:
- Only in an exceptional circumstance will term time leave be allowed. Parents/Carers wishing to apply for leave of absence need to submit the ‘Request time off in exceptional circumstances‘ form well in advance and before booking tickets or making travel arrangements.
- There will be a meeting with the headteacher where the request will be discussed and either authorised or not authorised, you will also be notified in writing.
- If term time leave is taken without prior permission from the school, the absence will be unauthorised and parents may be liable for a fixed-penalty fine or other legal action and in certain instances the child may also lose their school place.
Please remember that absence for whatever reason disadvantages a child by creating gaps in his/her learning. A good understanding of the work and progress can only take place when the child is in the classroom regularly and on time. There is clear evidence that pupils with no absence are 1.6 times more likely to achieve age-related expectations or above.
Leaving the School
If a child is leaving our school, other than at the end of Year 6, parents are asked to give the school comprehensive information about their plans including any date of a move and their new address and telephone numbers, the child’s new school and the start date when known on a form which can be obtained from the school office.
Wherever reasonably possible a child is expected to keep attending Kelvin Grove until they have been offered a place at a new school.
When pupils leave and we do not have the appropriate information about where they have gone, the child is considered to be a ‘Child Missing Education’. This means that the Local Authority has a legal duty to carry out investigations, which may include liaising with Social Care, the Police and other agencies, to try and locate them; this can be avoided by following the procedure outlined above.