Our policy on Attendance is Attendance Policy and Procedures December 2016
As a school we aim to:
- Maintain an attendance rate of a minimum of 95%
- Maintain parents’ and pupils’ awareness of the importance of regular attendance
- Maintain good time keeping
Good attendance is important because:
- Statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and poor attendance
- Regular attenders make better progress, both socially and academically
- Regular attenders find school routines, school work and friendships easier to cope with
- Regular attenders find learning more satisfying
- Regular attenders settle into High school more easily
The school day:
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- Follow up unexplained absences by phone calls and letters as necessary
- Remind parents of the importance of regular attendance and punctuality in our letters, the school brochure, open evenings, Home-School Agreement and pupil annual reports
- Acknowledge and reward good attendance and punctuality
- Publish your child’s attendance rate on her/his annual school report
- Let you know if we have concerns regarding your child’s attendance and punctuality
- If we continue to have concerns make a referral to the Attendance Compliance Enforcement Team, who visits the school regularly to review and support attendance and punctuality issues
Some absences are allowed by law and are known as “authorised absences”. For example: if a child is ill, family bereavement, religious observance.
There are times when children are absent for reasons, which are not permitted by law. These are known as “unauthorised absences”. Examples of unauthorised absence are:
- Going for a family day out
- Sleeping in after a late night
- Because it is your child’s birthday
- Term time holiday/cheap flights
- Parent’s illness
Where there is no explanation for an absence or where the explanation or reason for the absence is considered unsatisfactory absence will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’. Unauthorised Absences have to be reported to the Local Authority. The Attendance Compliance Enforcement Team may contact you where unauthorised absence continues to be a problem. Unauthorised absence could result in a Fixed Penalty Fine or other legal action.
It is important to be on time as the first part of the school day is used to give out instructions or organise schoolwork for the rest that day. It is also a time for children to settle down by reading or another quiet activity so they are ready for lessons immediately after registration.
Morning registration is at 8.30 am. This is the time your child must be in their form rooms.
Late arrivals are disruptive to the whole class and often embarrassing for your child.
Arrival (particularly if the lateness is frequent/persistent) after the close of registration will be marked as unauthorised absence code ‘U’ in line with the DCFS guidance. 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. This information can be made available to the courts in the form of a report, should a prosecution be the outcome of repeated lateness.
Exceptional Leave – Term Time Leave of Absence
We are always concerned about the amount of school time pupils miss as a result of term time leave. 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 fill in an application form well in advance and before booking tickets or making travel arrangements.
- If term time leave is taken without prior permission from the school, the absence will be unauthorised and you may be liable for a fixed-penalty fine or other legal action.
- Please remember that absence for whatever reason disadvantages a child by creating gaps in his/her learning. A good understanding of the work and good progress can only take place when the child is in the classroom regularly and on time.
If you think you have exceptional circumstances please talk to us without delay and before arrangements are entered into or money committed. If exceptional circumstances are accepted the Headteacher will determine how much absence will be authorised.
Each application for a leave of absence will be considered on a case by case basis and on its own merits.
You should be aware that failure to secure a child’s attendance at school is a criminal offence under Section 444(1) and 444(1A) of the Education Act 1996. In the event that a child’s absence is not authorised in relation to a leave of absence this could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice (£120.00 fine to be paid within 28 days of issue, which reduces to £60.00 if paid within 21 days) being issued to you or criminal prosecution proceedings being issued against you. Fixed Penalty Notices are issued to EACH absent child, therefore the aforementioned fine will apply to EACH parent and EACH child as set out within the notice(s).
You should be aware that if the Fixed Penalty Notice is not paid then the matter will be referred to our legal department to consider instigating criminal prosecution proceedings against you under section 444(1) or (A) of the Education Act 1996. If criminal proceedings are issued and you are found guilty, the court could sentence you to a fine of up to £1,000 or £2,500 and or sentence you to serve a community sentence period or sentence you to serve a custodial period of up to 3 months.
We value your support in helping the school to maintain the high standards to which we always aspire.
For further information from Warwickshire County Council on the regulations on Absence in Term Time can be found here. WCC Leave of Absence Information for Parents September 2015