Attendance Policy (Oct 2016)
Children Missing Education (CME)
Our school takes very seriously its responsibilities under the Education and Inspections Bill to report children that have generally been out of education for at least four weeks. We do this (i) by liaising with our School Attendance Officer (ii) relating to her any knowledge of peers/relations of pupils who are on roll who are not in education or any other pupils who may enquire for a place but may not be able to be offered one. In conjunction with our School Attendance Officer we have constructed a letter which we forward to parents/carers in relation to the above. The school also scrupulously monitors requests for absence from pupils with an ethnicity linked to countries where female genital mutilation (FGM) is practiced* and also for requests for leave travelling via Holland (office staff ask). Or when unexpected absence has occurred *Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Gambia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Eritre, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Senegal, Chad, Mala, Uganda, UAE, India, Tazania, Malaysia.
Pupils leaving our school at times other than high school transfer.
Oldfield Primary school is fully aware of the ‘Children Missing Education’ requirements which came into force in September 2006. Our school keeps an up to date list of all children who have left our school and their reasons for leaving.
It is our expectation that parent/carers of children who are leaving our school other than at high school transfer should be expected to give details in advance of such a move e.g. where they are moving to and the name of the new school and expected starting date. A ‘Leaving school form for parents’ can be obtained from the school office and should be completed and returned to the school office.
- To prevent truancy and work with parents to help prevent neglect.
- To be a part of bringing FGM to light.
- To ensure that all children attend school regularly and achieve and encourage parents to work in partnership with the school thus helping to raise achievement.
- To inform parents of their responsibility in law relating to school attendance and to gain co-operation on attendance matters including punctuality every day.
- To establish good patterns of attendance and a healthy attitude to coming to school and learning.
- To ensure that staff within the school are aware of the significant correlation between good attendance and academic achievement.
The law requires regular attendance.
- Registration in each class will take place at the beginning of the morning and afternoon sessions. All absences will be recorded using SIMs. Lateness will also be recorded each day.
- Parents are required to inform the school every time a child is absent; by telephone by 9.30am on the first day of absence and in writing when the child returns.
- If the school is not informed about absence, in the first instance the class teacher will make every effort to find out and record the reasons for the absence.
- Any prolonged, unexplained absence will be investigated by the school by every means available – and usually by telephone on the first day. If an illness is frequently claimed as a reason for absence then medical evidence may be requested to allow for further authorisation of absences. You will be asked for a Doctors’ note, sight of a prescription or medication.
- The school will authorise the following absences e.g. the pupil:
- When no explanation is forthcoming from parents after all efforts from the school to ascertain the reason for absence, absence will be treated as unauthorised.
- If parentally-condoned unjustified absence appears to be a problem the School Attendance Officer will be involved at an early opportunity.
- If truancy is suspected the Headteacher or another member of staff will telephone the parents to query the absence of the child.
- Absences may be authorised retrospectively after a suitable explanation.
- Attendance will be monitored every half term. The parents of any child whose attendance falls below 90% will be required to meet with the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and or the Safeguarding Manager. Cases may be referred to the School Attendance Officer if necessary. This may lead to fines or court action
- Certificates are given at the end of every term to reward 100% attendance or improved attendance. (bronze, silver gold and super gold)
- Children gain house points for attendance and punctuality (see Appendix 1 ).
- There is a prize draw for a bicycle for children with 100% attendance and 100% punctuality.
- Persistent absence is tackled rigorously and with the support of the School Attendance Officer, the school attendance officer and the Headteacher as well as other agencies. Legal action is taken by the local authority as may be necessary.
- The Parent Rep Group plays an active part with other parents in informing about the dangers of FGM and helping the school to monitor the absence of families and children who may be at risk.
- All children and parents are informed regularly about the importance of punctuality and are required to be at school by 8.55 a.m. each day.
- Registration is closed by 9.00 a.m. each day and lateness is noted in the register and the time of arrival is recorded.
- Parents receive a letter if their child is late on three occasions during one half term.
- Settling-in records and mid-year reports record a score for attendance and punctuality so parents and pupils realize how important these are.
- At open evenings the lateness record is discussed with parents to improve punctuality.
- Habitual, persistent unauthorised absence/lateness may lead to prosecution as laid down by the Department for Education.
- To promote punctuality a weekly 100% punctuality certificate is awarded to the class or classes in each key stage and displayed on the classroom door.
- Every child who is punctual for 5 days in the one week is awarded a housepoint by the classteacher.
Health and Safety
- if a staff member goes to a child’s home to investigate absence there will always be another member of staff with them.
- Pupils’ safety is uttermost both in being accompanied to and from school up to Y6 and when they are absent – that they are not left alone.
Monitoring and Evaluation
- The Headteacher regularly monitors attendance with the school attendance administrator Mrs Wilson.
- The Headteacher, Mrs Wilson and the Deputy Headteacher will meet with the LA School Attendance Officer at least once a term to discus a range of areas around attendance, motivational as well as intervention by the school and the School Attendance Officer/LA.
- The Headteacher updates governors on attendance at least once a term.
Incentives will be given to all pupils to attend school.
Families where there is persistent absence (90% and below) and low level attendance 85 %– 90% are targeted to ensure attendance improves.
Last review: October 2016
Next review due March 2018
ATTENDANCE: 96% is Expected;
SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY
As attending school is directly related to what a child achieves, the Government is very strict on:
- All children attending school
- All children arriving on time for school
- Stopping any absence that is not authorised i.e. no holidays in term time
Swift action is taken where parents do not meet their legal obligations of their child attending school when she or he is well enough to do so. In Nursery they may lose their place as the school always has a long waiting list.
All schools’ attendance data is scrutinised and in the London Borough of Ealing, local authority school attendance officers and headteachers meet regularly once every half-term to look at every child’s attendance and actions such as fining parents for taking unauthorised leave, decided.
How does this affect you and your child or children?
- The parents of any child below 95% attendance at school may be asked to meet with the headteacher to discuss ways that attendance could improve.
- The parents of any child below 90% attendance at school will be asked to meet with the headteacher to discuss ways that attendance could improve. e.g. sometimes a letter from the head can assist parents to speed up medical processes for a recurring condition.
Authorised and unauthorised absence:
- Headteachers are no longer allowed to routinely authorise up to ten days absence.
- No absence apart from sickness will be authorised during term time EXCEPT in a VERY RARE circumstance when a parent needs to make an appointment to see the Headteacher.
Absence from school: If your child is absent from school please
- Telephone the school by 9.30 am on the morning of the first day to inform us of the reason (This is to ensure that no child ‘goes missing’).
- Write a letter for your child to bring with them on returning to school and with a doctor’s note for more than 2 days absence. (This is to verify in writing and with evidence that the parent or carer knows the child has been off school and gives reasons).
PLEASE GET YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL BY 8.55 am
For children to get the most out of their schooling it is necessary that the school day should consistently start in a calm, orderly way. Most parents do bring their children to school on time; however, far too many children arrive late. If children arrive after 8.55 am or it means that they have an unsettled start to the day and also their classmates are disrupted.
15 minutes over 5 days adds up to 1 hour 15 minutes of disrupted schooling over one week and 2.5 days over an average term.
Every child who attends and is punctual for one full week receives 5 house points.
Targets for 2016-2017
Attendance target for whole school 2016 – 2017 is 96%
Attendance target for Reception 2016 - 2017 is 95%
Absence for 2016-2017 Authorised/Unauthorised whole school 4%
Housepoints are awarded as incentives to children for 100% punctuality in one week. Class awards include a weekly certificate for 100% punctuality.