Good attendance is vital for children to achieve well and be happy at school. Children who are absent regularly may fall behind or be unhappy coming to school.
What is good attendance?
If your child has better that 96% attendance at school they are doing well. The national average is about 95%. Children with 80% attendance will miss an average of one day a week and two years of school by the time they are in Year 11. Similarly attendance of 90% may sound good but it is still half a day a week and a year of missed education by the time they are 16. We don’t need to explain how difficult it can be for some children to make up for a year of lost time.
What do we do?
We reward very good attendance at the end of each half term - where 100% attendance badges are awarded to each pupil. We also recognise pupils who improve their attendance greatly. Attendance is vigilantly monitored and we try to support families, if we can, to improve attendance. We will work with other agencies e.g GP surgery, to do this. Also, we will set up plans for children who need to improve so that they can be rewarded when they come to school regularly. We try and make it part of our school ethos that good attendance is expected and rewarded. The 'Space Race' has proven very popular as an attendance incentive each week. Classes can win stars for 97% attendance and being the class with the best attendance, where the class with the most amount of stars at the end of the year wins a treat!
What can parents do?
Ensure you phone in on the first day of absence to give the reason for your child being absent. Just press 1 on the phone system to tell us why your child is absent. If you are concerned about your child’s attendance or they seem unhappy to come to school please talk to someone as soon as possible. Normally it is best to speak to the class teacher in the first instance and the Family Worker. The Principal or Vice Principals are available to talk with you too.
What about holidays?
Legislation came into effect on 1st September 2013 which means schools can no longer grant leave of absence for a holiday. The headteacher may grant leave only in "exceptional circumstances" and never for a holiday. Should a parent wish to request leave for exceptional circumstances, they should put their request in writing addressed to the headteacher. We aim to respond to requests within 48 hours. The Governing Body have directed the headteacher to refuse requests where the child's attendance is below 95% or there is likely to be an adverse effect on their education. The Governing Body have also decided that no leave can be taken during May due to statutory testing.
In cases where attendance is particularly poor, the school may request the Local Authority issue a penalty notice.