Good school attendance helps children. By being at school every day children not only make the best progress they can in their learning, but also develop and maintain good friendships. Children who are in school are also more likely to be present at team selection events for sports and will be less likely to miss out on experience days and house events. Expected school attendance is higher than 96% - this is fewer than 10 days off across and entire school year.
Children with 100% or good attendance (more than 96%) will receive certificates and get recognition in assembly. Children with 100% attendance have the chance to be entered into termly prize draws and to take part in special events in school.
How does school support attendance?
School tracks attendance of children who are at risk of falling below 95%. School staff may talk to children to see how they are finding school and see if there is anything they can help with.
A member of staff may also call parents to see if there are any problems school can help with.
My child is anxious and worried, or there's been a problem- do I have to send them in?
Avoiding problems and concerns can make them seem bigger and scarier for children. It can be hard for children to negotiate friendships, or their school work, and these can become bigger worries than they need to. We have a good team, including Mrs O'Leary, our family support worker, and the senior leadership team, who can meet with children and their parents to talk through worries and concerns, and put support in place. Sometimes children haven't voiced their problems at school and there is always something we can do to help. Children should always be supported to come into school in this case- we can talk to children with their parents before they go back to class.
What happens when attendance isn't good?
When attendance isn't good children's friendships can suffer they miss out on playtime games, daily news from their friends and shared experiences.
Children can also find it really hard to catch up on missed learning- school staff will always support children to catch up, but inevitably catch-up sessions are shorted than actually being in school, and this can be tricky.
Making sure children are at school is a legal responsibility for parents.
If a child is not attending school regularly, then parents may be asked to attend a meeting where the child's attendance will be discussed and an agreement will be put in place to improve the child's attendance.
What is an authorised absence?
These are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason such as illness, medical/dental appointments (which unavoidably fall in school time), emergencies or other unavoidable causes. Authorised absences are still counted as an absence and will affect pupil attendance data. We advise parents to book medical or dental appointments outside of school hours, but where this is not possible, we require parents to provide the school with evidence and this will not be authorised until evidence has been supplied.
Evidence may be in the form of:
- Appointment card or letter
- Copy of a prescription that was prescribed on the date of absence
These are absences which the school does not consider reasonable, or which are not allowed under county or government guidelines.
•Parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily (this includes due to unresolved issues within the school)
• Anxiety in regards to Covid-19 or other related national medical issues, despite the Government issuing contrary guidance and being explicit in regards to compulsory attendance
• Absences which have never been properly explained
• Children who arrive at school after the register closes
• Shopping, including for items of school uniform, looking after other children or birthdays
• Exceptional leave in term time which have not been agreed
• Excessive illness without medical evidence
• Children acting as carers
What if my child needs more support?
We are very fortunate to be able to employ a school counsellor one day a week, although these slots are very limited, we run a waiting list to ensure children get the support they may need as soon as possible, as well as supporting referrals to CAHMS.
We also work closely with colleagues on the county attendance team and the Emotional Based School Avoidance (EBSA) team. There is parent information about this on the link below.