ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY
Attendance At Holy Trinity CE Primary School
ARRIVAL AT SCHOOL AND REGISTRATION
All the school doors open at 8.50 am until 8.55 am. This time is sufficient for all pupils to come into their classroom.
Pupils are allowed to come into school from 8.40 am onwards when our site supervisor, Mr Forrester opens the gates. Two members of staff are always on duty on the astro-turf yard. Therefore, all children must make their way to the astro-turf yard if they arrive before 8.50am to ensure that they are being supervised. The whistle is blown at 8.50 when the children are able to walk into school. Key Stage 1 children (classes 1G, 1/2L and 2M) walk through the main door at the back of the building and walk through the hall to their classrooms. Upper Key stage 2 pupils (Years 5 and 6 - classes 5A, 5S and 6P) also walk through this door; they will then walk up the stairs to their classrooms. Lower Key Stage 2 children (Years 3 and 4) are allowed in through the back door of their classroom by their teacher. Foundation stage children are let in through their classroom door by the teacher.
The gates and door at the back of the school are kept open until 8.55am, the official start of the school day. If a child arrives after 8.55am, they must report to the school office at the front of the school.
We do realise that many parents wish to pass on messages to teachers at the beginning of the day and we realise the importance of these messages being acted upon. However, as our teachers are supervising children in the classrooms from 8.50am, we request that you do not come into school to give a message directly to the teacher. If parents have any messages, they must come to the main entrance and talk to the office staff and should not walk into school following the children to their classrooms.
On rare occasions, you may have a more serious message to pass on. If this is the case, you can ask to speak to the headteacher or deputy headteacher. The headteacher/deputy headteacher will consequently discuss this with the class teacher, or cover the class, thus giving the teacher the opportunity to talk to you.
You may prefer to make an appointment to see the teacher at the end of the school day.
We also request that parents do not follow their children into school with bags and coats, but allow them to come in independently as they do at the moment.
Each class teacher has the responsibility for keeping an accurate record of attendance. Any pupil who is absent must be recorded at the beginning of the morning and afternoon session. The attendance register must be completed by the class teacher by 9.05am. Any child arriving between 9.05 and 9.30am will be marked as late; the registers are closed at 9.30am after which a child will be marked as absent. These registers are then returned to the school office.
All attendance records are documented using SIMs software, which is supported by the Local Authority. Attendance registers are legal documents and these must be kept secure and preserved for a period of three years after the date they were last used.
Once the doors are closed at 8.55am the only way to get into school is via the school office. Any pupil who comes into school this way from 9.05am will be marked as late in the attendance record. Records are kept of those pupils who are late, this is documented on the electronic register for each pupil (Attendance code L). Any child who arrives for school later than 9.30 will be marked as having an unauthorised absence for the morning. (Attendance code U).
Children who have attended a dentist or doctor’s appointment and subsequently come to school later than 9.05am will have the absence recorded as a medical absence (Attendance code M).
Children who are persistently late miss a significant amount of learning, often the most important aspect, as the beginning of the day is where the teacher explains the learning and what each child is expected to achieve.
Where there have been persistent incidents of lateness parents/carers will receive a letter advising them of the concerns and the school will provide opportunities for parents/carers to seek support and advice to address these issues.
Parents/carers should contact the school on the first day of their child’s absence. When parents/carers notify us of their child’s absence it is important that they provide us with details of the reason for their absence.
All absences are recorded as either authorised or unauthorised absences on the computer. It is important that we receive accurate information from parents with reasons for the child’s absence. This information is used to determine whether the absence is authorised or unauthorised. The Attendance Officer has the responsibility to determine whether absences are authorised or unauthorised.
Where we have not received reasons for a child’s absence then we telephone parents/carers to obtain a reason.
What is 'Persistent Absence'?
Persistent Absence refers to any pupil who has attendance of below 90% at the end of a school year or who is at risk of reaching this level.
Persistent Absence data is reported on by Local and central Government and schools are expected to reduce the levels of Persistent Absence within their schools.
First Day Contact
Where a child is absent from school and we have not received any verbal or written communication from the parent, then we initiate a first day contact process. Office staff check all of the registers from 9.05am to 9.30am on a daily basis, to identify those pupils who are absent. There are occasions when we are unaware why the child is absent and we will contact the parent to check the reasons for the child’s absence.
When children have an illness that means they will be away from school long term, the school will do all it can to send material home, so that they can keep up with their school work.
If the absence is likely to continue for an extended period, or be a repetitive absence, the school will contact the support services to see if arrangements can be made for the child to be given some home tuition outside school.
Where over the course of an academic year, a child has repeated periods of illness, the school will write to parents to ask them to provide medical evidence for each future period of illness related absence. This evidence could be a Doctor’s note, appointment card or copy of a prescription. We may seek written permission from you for the school to make their own enquiries.
ADDRESSING ATTENDANCE CONCERNS
The school expects attendance of at least 95%.
It is important for children to establish good attendance habits early on in their primary school career. It is the responsibility of the Headteacher and the governors to support good attendance and to identify and address attendance concerns promptly. In primary school we rely upon parents to ensure their child attends school regularly and punctually and therefore where there are concerns regarding attendance parents are always informed of our concerns. Initially concerns about attendance are raised with parents via letters which are sent home. There will be opportunities for the parent/carer to discuss reasons for absence and support to be given by the school with the aim to improve attendance. Where a child’s attendance record does not improve over a period of time then the school has a responsibility to make a referral to the Educational Welfare Service.
The Education Welfare Service (EWS) will issue penalty notices to parents where there has been a referral to EWS from the school as part of the school’s processes to address poor attendance patterns.
The Education Wefare Officer visits once a month to check and monitor attendance. They carry out regular register checks to identify children with low attendance (usually below 85%).They work with the school to improve attendance and may issue fixed penalty fines if attendance support meetings held by the school do not improve attendance.
Our Attendance Officer, has the responsibility for ensuring that all of the attendance data is accurately recorded on the SIMs attendance software. Regular meetings are held with the Headteacher to discuss all attendance concerns and appropriate actions are taken following these meetings such as letters sent to parents or meetings arranged to discuss attendance concerns with parents.
REQUESTING A LEAVE OF ABSENCE
Headteachers cannot authorise any leave of absence during term time unless they are satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances to warrant the granting of leave.
Please read our Attendance Policy for further detail (see below).
It is important to note that:
exceptional circumstances are by definition, rare and should not reoccur annually. Unfortunately, the cost of holidays or availability of accommodation in school holiday times cannot be taken into consideration.
‘surprise’ holidays booked by another family member are unlikely to be authorised and may incur a penalty notice; please inform other family members of this legislation.
ensure that a leave of absence for your child has been authorised prior to booking the holiday.
ensure that the leave of absence request form is only filled in by the parent with whom the child usually resides. If mum and dad live separately, a request form may come from both parents only if there is a 50/50 custody agreement.
There is Local Authority application form for a leave of absence (click on link below). On this form you will need to provide information regarding the exceptional circumstances supporting this application for leave. Each application will be considered by the headteacher. Once our decision is made, you will be informed whether the leave is authorised or unauthorised and the reasons for our decision. Your form will be held in our records.
We hope all parents will acknowledge and understand the limitations placed on schools in granting any leave in term time. We need parental support to ensure that we can avoid going down the route of using penalty notices; so please only request leave in term time if the circumstances are exceptional. We ask our parents to support the school in our efforts to reduce unnecessary absence and thus minimise the impact on the education of our pupils.