Attendance and Absences Policy Statement
Pupil attendance is of the utmost importance. Regular attendance at school has always been important. Education provides a means of advancement for all young people. Pupils need to attend regularly if they are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them in law. Irregular attendance undermines the educational process and leads to educational disadvantage.
Parents and the School
Under Section 36 of the Education Act 1944 parents of children of compulsory age are required to ensure that they receive full-time education, whether by regular school attendance or otherwise. Parents are thus primarily responsible for ensuring that children attend and stay at school. It is the responsibility of the school to support attendance and to take seriously problems which may lead to non-attendance. Parents should ensure that their children arrive at school on time, properly attired and in a condition to learn.
It is parents’ responsibility to inform the school by 8:30 am on the morning of the first day of the child’s absence. Parents are expected to contact the school either by email or by telephone to provide information as required. Where a child is ill, the school should be notified of the nature of the illness and, when this can be predicted, the date the child is expected to be able to resume his or her studies. If a child is absent for more than one day, the school requires a letter or email giving the reason for the absence.
Where irregular attendance of a registered pupil is causing concern, the Education Welfare Officer will be informed.
Pupils arriving late may seriously disrupt not only their continuity of learning but also that of others. Where pupils miss registration altogether and fail to provide an adequate explanation they will be marked as unauthorised absent even though they may arrive later. Where a pupil does arrive late they must report to the School Office, who will note their attendance. If a child is genuinely unavoidably late because of difficulties at home or other circumstances the Class teacher or Headteacher must be informed in writing. This schools’ Education Welfare Officer visits the school on a regular basis to check the registers for lateness and absence of children. If regular lateness or absence is noted, the Education Welfare Officer after consulting with the Headteacher will take appropriate action.
Exceptional occasions may be sanctioned as an authorised absence and the Headteacher would need to be notified of the circumstances in order to authorise the absence.
The death of a family member can be a particularly traumatic event in any young person’s life. The Headteacher must be notified and will treat any request for absence sympathetically.
Family Holidays and Extended Trips Overseas During Term Time
Changes to the law which came in from September 2013 make it clear that Headteachers would not be expected to class any term time holiday as exceptional.
Any absence from school will disrupt your child’s learning. Children returning from a term time holiday are also unprepared for the lessons which build upon the teaching they have missed, and teachers have to give more time to help individual children catch up on missed work. This poses a risk of the under achievement of other children in the class. This is something we all have a responsibility in the school community to avoid.
Days of Religious Observance
Section 199 of the Education Act 1993 provides that an offence is not committed where the absence of a pupil of compulsory school age results from participation in a day set aside exclusively for religious observance by the religious body to which the parents belong. Such absences are classified as authorised absence. Parents should notify the school in advance of such an absence.