The school day consists of two sessions (am and pm). A register will be taken by each class teacher at the beginning of each session. Registers will be kept accurately as they maybe used as evidence in cases where parents/carers are being prosecuted for school attendance offences.
Pupils who arrive at school after 9.00 am must report to the School Office to be marked in the register. Lateness is marked as ‘L’ in the register and is not considered an absence. Parents are expected to bring their child to the school office and provide a reason for their lateness.
The register will be closed at 9.10 am each day (but may be kept open longer in exceptional circumstances e.g. bad weather). Any pupil arriving after this time, without a reasonable explanation will be marked as ‘Late after the register has closed’ (U). This is an unauthorised absence (truancy). 10 unauthorised lates within a seasonal term will result in a request to the Local Authority for a Penalty Notice to be issued.
Parents/carers are expected to contact the school whenever their child is unable to attend school and provide an appropriate explanation on the first morning the child is absent; telephone calls, letters or personal contact are all acceptable.
If parents/carers do not contact the school before 9.30 am on their child’s first day of absence we will contact them by telephone (First Day Calling) or using the text messaging system, which allows parents to reply. If staff cannot contact a parent/carer a message will be left on their answer machine where possible or contact attempted by text or email; in this instance if the parent/carer does not subsequently make contact with the school the absence will be marked as unauthorised.
Absence is either authorised or unauthorised (truancy). Only the school can authorise absences. Following an absence parents/carers are required to provide a written explanation for their child’s absence, this should also include wherever possible evidence such as a doctor’s letter or prescribed medication (this could be in the form of the prescription (FP10) or of the medication with the pharmacy label attached.). The school does not have to accept a parent’s/carer’s explanation as a valid reason for absence. If there are doubts about the explanation offered or where there is no explanation it will be recorded as unauthorised. Parents/carers will be asked to provide evidence (e.g. doctor’s letter, prescribed medication) to confirm the reasons for their child’s absence if their attendance falls below 95.6%. Pupil attendance will be regularly reviewed by the Headteacher and Office Manager. If a child’s attendance continues to fall parents/carers will be invited to attend a meeting with the Headteacher where an attendance plan will be agreed, and referral to an external service will be considered (SLO, Early Help, School Nurse etc.). The pupil’s attendance will be monitored regularly and further action will be taken as appropriate.
The following are examples of inappropriate reasons for non-attendance at school:
Child’s or other family member’s birthday
To go shopping
Parent or other family member has an appointment
Parent or other family member is unwell (unless there are exceptional circumstances).
Parents/carers are asked to notify the school as far in advance as possible of any appointments their child may have (e.g. medical or dental). They are encouraged to make such appointments outside of school hours but we accept that this is not always possible. The School Nursing Service is able to help parents/carers rearrange some hospital appointments when they fall within the school day. Parent/carers are required to provide evidence of all such appointments (e.g. hospital appointment letter, appointment card.). Where children attend such appointments during the school day they will not be expected to be absent for the whole day unless there are exceptional circumstances. As with all other absences the school does not have to accept a parent’s/carer’s explanation as a valid reason for absence.