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Attendance Policy

ATTENDANCE POLICY

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Once your child is registered at a school, the parents or carers are legally responsible for making sure they attend school regularly and punctually. Parents, and those with parental responsibility, are required to ensure that children of compulsory school age receive effective full time education. This means that they are responsible for ensuring that children attend and stay at school unless alternative arrangements for their education are made.

 

We expect all children at Cuxton Schools to attend every day when the school is open, as long as they are fit enough to do so.

 

We try to make our school a safe, happy place for the children to be in, and reward those children whose attendance is very good. We know that absence hampers children’s learning, and so we actively promote and encourage 100% attendance for all our pupils, and discourage all unnecessary absences, including those taken for holidays during school time.

 

The Governing Body is responsible for making sure the school keeps an attendance register that records which pupils are present at the start of both the morning and the afternoon sessions of the school day. This register will also indicate whether an absence was authorised or unauthorised. The school also has a legal duty to publish its absence figures to parents and to ensure as high a level of attendance as possible.

 

The following table indicates the impact of absence on your child’s learning and progress, and any action the school is legally required to take.

 

% Attendance

Days

Missed

Impact on Child

Possible School/LA Action

100%

0

Perfect!  Giving your child the best chance

Child rewarded

95%

10

At risk of under achieving

Patterns of attendance are investigated in school.

90%

20

At serious risk of under achieving

Discussion with Attendance Advisory Practitioner (AAP).

85%

29

High level of concern

School Referral to AAP for immediate action.

Child will be recorded on Persistent Absence return to local authority.

Possible Court action for parents.

80%

38

Serious concern

75%

47

Serious Concern -

Not fair for the child.

 

 

ABSENCE AND LATENESS

 

Parents are responsible for informing the school of any absence as soon as possible on the first day of absence by 09.15, either by phone or email. A letter must be addressed to the school office explaining the reason for absence on the child’s return to school for our records. Failure to do so will result in unauthorised absence.

 

Where a child is late the parent/carer must sign the child in, in the late book and give a valid reason as to why the child was not in school on time. This is then recorded on our system. Lateness is discouraged. Children miss valuable time if they are late each day, and this will also be monitored.

 

 

AUTHORISED ABSENCE

 

Only the school can authorise a child’s absence. An absence is recorded as authorised when a child has been away from school for a legitimate reason, and the school has received notification from a parent or carer. For example, if a child has been unwell and the parent writes a note or sends an email to explain the reason. In cases where the child’s attendance is below 95%, medical evidence may be requested before the absence will be authorised.

 

 

UNAUTHORISED ABSENCE

 

An absence is recorded as unauthorised when is child is away from school without the permission of the school. The following are examples where absence will be unauthorised:

 

  • Another member of the family is ill
  • The family have overslept, or had a late night
  • There are problems with uniform or clothing
  • You have forgotten school dates
  • It has snowed and you live within walking distance of the school
  • An annual family event, such as a birthday
  • An outing, e.g. to a theme park
  • You take your child shopping
  • A parent or sibling has a medical or other appointment
  • You have a problem with your car

 

 

MONITORING ATTENDANCE AND LATENESS

 

When a child is absent, the class teacher will record the absence in the register, which is then passed to the school office.

 

If there is any doubt about the whereabouts of the child the school will try to make contact with the parent as soon as possible in order to check on the safety of the child.

 

Each child’s attendance record is kept on file, via our computerised registration system. At the end of each week our system produces a profile of attendance for each child. The Headteacher and Office Manager monitor attendance closely for each child, and the following procedures are in place.

 

  • Should attendance start to fall below 95%, patterns of attendance are thoroughly investigated. The school will issue a letter reminding parents of their legal responsibilities. Parents will be asked to provide explanations for absences. In some cases, where there is a pattern of recurrent illness, medical evidence will be requested. Acceptable evidence includes photocopies of prescriptions given to children.
  • If attendance levels fall to 92% or below, the child will be subject to fortnightly review meetings between the AAP, Headteacher and Office Manager. At this stage the AAP may ask the parent to attend an attendance clinic in school, or she will issue the parents with the first of two official letters. Attendance will then be monitored monthly until the level rises above 95%.
  • If there is still no improvement or attendance levels fall to 90%, the AAP may ask the school to make a referral. On receiving this, the AAP will contact you directly, or may visit your home.
  • Each term (6 times a year) the school is required to report details of all children whose attendance is 90% or below.  This report is called Persistent Absence from School, and is monitored by the local authority.
  • If there is still no increase in attendance levels, the AAP may start court proceedings.

 

The procedures and consequences outlined above apply equally to persistent lateness.

 

It is the responsibility of the school governors to monitor overall attendance. They request a termly report from the Headteacher.

 

 

REGISTRATION

 

The times of the school day are as follows:

 

Foundation Stage and Key Stage One (Years R to 2)

08.45 Doors Open
08.55 Morning Registration - all children in class - anyone in school after this time will be marked late
09.05 Registers Officially Close - anyone in school after this time will be marked absent for the whole session
12.00 Lunch Time
13.15 Afternoon Registration
15.10 End of the School Day

 

Key Stage Two (Years 3 to 6)

08.45 Doors Open
08.55 Morning Registration - all children in class - anyone in school after this time will be marked late
09.05 Registers Officially Close - anyone in school after this time will be marked absent for the whole session
12.15 Lunch Time
13.15 Afternoon Registration
15.15 End of the School Day

 

Children are marked present or absent on the attendance register at the beginning of each morning and afternoon session. Absences are marked as authorised or unauthorised. All teachers in school operate the same system, so the registers are consistent. Registers are kept accurately as they may be used in evidence in cases where the AAP becomes involved. The AAP is informed of all attendance issues.

 

The official registration period for our schools is 10 minutes

 

  • Any child arriving after the Morning Registration time (8.55am) will be recorded as Late.
  • Any child who arrives after the registers are officially closed in the morning (9.05am) will be marked as having an Unauthorised Absence for that session.
  • The same policy applies to the afternoon session.

 

 

ATTENDANCE CODES

 

In line with Government regulations, the following codes are used for registration purposes:

 

Code

Description

Statistical Meaning

/

Present (AM)

Present

\

Present (PM)

Present

B

Educated off site

Approved Educational Activity

C

Other Authorised Absence

Authorised Absence

D

Dual Registration

Approved Educational Activity

E

Excluded (no alternative provision made)

Authorised Absence

F

Extended family holiday (agreed)

Authorised Absence

G

Family holiday (not approved)

Unauthorised Absence

H

Family holiday (approved)

Authorised Absence

I

Illness (not Medical/Dental appointments)

Authorised Absence

L

Late (before Registration closes)

Present

M

Medical/Dental appointment

Authorised Absence

N

No Reason Provided for Absence

Unauthorised Absence

O

Unauthorised Absence (not covered by other code)

Unauthorised Absence

R

Religious Observance

Authorised Absence

T

Traveller Absence

Authorised Absence

U

Late (after Registration closes)

Unauthorised Absence

V

Educational Visit or Trip

Approved Educational Activity

X

School Closed to Pupils (also used for part-time)

Attendance Not Required

Y

Enforced Closure (adverse weather e.g.)

Attendance Not Required

#

School Closed to Pupils and Staff

Attendance Not Required

 

 

REWARDS

 

Each week we hold a Certificate Assembly, where certificates are awarded to the class that has achieved the best attendance during that week. In EYFS and Key Stage 1, this class is given the honour of looking after Sophie or Angus, the Attendance Bears, and an Attendance Trophy is awarded in Key Stage 2. We also reward children who have medical conditions, whose attendance has significantly improved.

 

At the end of each term in December, March/April and July, children are awarded a special certificate for achieving 100% attendance during that period. If by the end of the school year children have achieved 100% from September through to July, they are awarded with a further certificate and a prize at our final celebration assembly.

 

 

HOLIDAYS & PENALTY NOTICES

 

It is our policy that children will not be taken out of school during term time except in exceptional circumstances.  A child's absence during term time can seriously disrupt their continuity of learning. Not only do they miss valuable teaching on the days they are away, they are also less prepared for the lessons when they return to school.

 

Following consultation with the Primary First Trust and Medway Council, school governors have made the decision to introduce Penalty Notices with effect September 2015.  Penalty Notices are issued to each parent/carer for each child, and the amount of the fine is £60 per parent per child if paid within 21 days, rising to £120 per parent per child if the fine remains unpaid until the 28th day.  Failure to pay the fine in full at the end of a 28 day period may result in court action.

 

Please note that all requests for absence must be made by the parent who has day-to-day care of the child, even if they are not attending the holiday themselves.

 

 

EXCEPTIONAL LEAVE

 

Exceptional leave will be granted in the following circumstances only:

 

  • To attend a funeral/and or wedding of an immediate family member - 1 day per academic year for each event.
  • To attend an officially approved examination/audition/competition - 1 day per academic year.

 

Requests for exceptional leave must be made in writing to the Headteacher.  Please note that NO leave will be granted during transition and testing times in school.  These times are:

 

  • September - when children are settling into their new class.
  • May/June/July - when children are undertaking tests, visits to new classes and transition visits to secondary school for children in Year 6.

 

 

CHILDREN MISSING EDUCATION

In cases where children do not attend school and attempts to contact parents have failed, or where children have left our school and not arrived at a new school, we are required to report to the local authority within 10 days.

 

 

SCHOOL CLOSURE

 

In cases of school closure due to snow, heating, electricity failure etc., children are given a mark of Enforced Closure. This will have no impact on their attendance record.

 

 

HELPFUL HINTS

 

  • Telephone or email the school by 09.15 on the first day of your child’s absence.
  • If the school contacts you regarding an absence, please respond as quickly as possible.
  • Notify the school in writing well in advance of any medical appointments, and provide evidence such as a hospital letter.
  • Keep the school informed of any on-going medical conditions your child has that may affect their attendance.
  • If your child has been sick or has had diahorrea, please do not bring them to school for 48 hours from the last bout. These illnesses spread very quickly.
  • If your child has recently started a course of antibiotics, they should be at home until the child is well enough to return to school.  The school is able to administer antibiotics where prescribed 4 times daily.
  • Please ensure you have made alternative arrangements for a friend or relative to collect your child in an emergency if you are unavailable.

 

 

MONITORING AND REVIEW OF PROCEDURES

 

The school governors have the responsibility for this policy, and for ensuring the procedures are carried out. Therefore the governors will examine closely all information provided to them, and will seek to ensure that our attendance figures are as high as they should be. The rates of attendance are reported to parents annually in the governor’s report, and this information is available on our school website.

 

 

This policy will be reviewed annually in June and published to parents.

 

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