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General Attendance Information

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. Good attendance means that your child will get the most from their school life. There is minimum standard of 96% attendance set out by the government.  Therefore any child that has attendance below 96% is deemed as having poor attendance. As a result, they do less well in tests, miss out on friendship groups and generally get less out of their early schooling.

 

We 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

96%

10

At risk of under achieving.

Patterns of attendance are investigated in school.

Discussion with Attendance Advisory Practitioner (AAP).

90%

20

At serious risk of under achieving.

School Referral to AAP for immediate action.

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

Possible Court action.

85%

29

High level of concern

80%

38

Serious Concern

75%

47

Absence & Lateness

 

Parents are responsible for informing the school of any absence as soon as possible on the first day of absence by 08:45am, 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 is also 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 96%, 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
  • The weather is bad, but the school is open
  • 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 & 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 Head teacher and Admin officer monitor attendance closely for each child, and the following procedures are in place.

 

  • Should attendance start to fall below 96%, 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 medication and/or a note from the GP.

 

  • If attendance levels fall to 96% or below, the child will be subject to fortnightly review meetings between the AAP, Head teacher and Admin officer.  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 fortnightly until the level rises above 96%.

 

  • If there is still no improvement or attendance levels continue to fall, the AAP will 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 Head teacher.

 

Registration

 

The times of the school day are as follows:

 

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

  • 08:45        Doors Open
  • 08:45        Morning Registration - all children in class (also see below)
  • 08:55        Registers Close
  • 12:00        Lunch Time
  • 13:00        Afternoon Registration
  • 15:10        End of the School Day

 

 

Key Stage Two (Years 3 to 6)

  • 08:45        Doors Open
  • 08:45        Morning Registration - all children in class (also see below)
  • 08:55        Registers Close
  • 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 (9:00am) 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. 

 

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 from 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 a wedding of an immediate family member I day per academic year for each event (evidence will be required).
  • To attend an officially approved examination/audition/competition I day per academic year (evidence will be required).

 

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 08:45am 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 vomited or has had diahorrea, please ensure the symptoms have cleared up before they return to school.  These illnesses spread very quickly.

 

  • If your child has recently been prescribed medications by a qualified doctor, the school may be able to administer these and each child will be dealt with on an individual basis. Please visit the school office to discuss further and refer to the ‘administration of medicines policy for further information.

 

  • Please ensure you have made alternative arrangements for a friend or relative to collect your child in an emergency if you are unavailable.

 

Monitoring & 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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