Attendance

ATTENDANCE POLICY

Mission Statement

 Hippings Methodist Primary School endeavours to provide the best possible all-round education in a Christian setting. The School acknowledges and values its foundation by the Methodist Church, continuing links with the local Methodist community and the principles which form the basis of Methodism. Children are encouraged to develop a mature and positive attitude to themselves, to their relationships with others and to the life of the school in general.  Good standards of behaviour and respect for others are stressed. We aim to foster the social skills and moral awareness that will enable the children to be safe and become well-balanced individuals, who will make a positive contribution to the society in which they live. The School endeavours to develop in its pupils a sympathetic understanding of Christianity and to provide an opportunity to search for a faith by which to live.  While we exert no pressure to believe, Christian values are built into the ethos and teaching.

 

 As a school we aim to:                                      

  • Maintain an attendance rate of a minimum of 96%
  • Maintain parents’ and pupils’ awareness of the importance of regular attendance.

 

Good attendance is important because:

  • Statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and poor attendance
  • Regular attendees make better progress, both socially and academically
  • Regular attendees find school routines and school work easier to cope with
  • Regular attendees find learning more satisfying
  • Regular attendees have an easier transfer to secondary school

 

As a parent you can help us by:

  • Ringing on the first morning of all absences with the reason and saying when the child will return
  • Arranging dental and doctor’s appointments out of school hours or during school breaks
  • Sending in a note explaining the reason for absence on your child’s return to school after an illness
  • Keeping us updated by telephone or letter if your child has an extended period of absence due to illness

 

We shall:

  • Follow up unexplained absences by phone calls and letters as soon as possible
  • Remind parents of the importance of regular attendance and punctuality in newsletters, the school brochure and the Home-School agreement
  • Publish our attendance rate in the school brochure and the School Information Profile
  • Acknowledge and reward good attendance
  • Publish your child’s attendance rate on her/his annual school report
  • Let you know if we have concerns regarding your child’s attendance
  • If we continue to have concerns we will make a referral to the School Attendance Officer, who will visit the school to review the situation and advise on the action to be taken.
  • If the absence is unauthorised then a fine may be imposed. (see LCC leaflet)

Authorised Absence

 Some absences are allowed by law and are known as “authorised absences”.  For example: if a child is ill, family bereavement, religious observance.

We realise that there are rare occasions when there might be a particular problem that causes your child to be absent.  Please let us know and we shall try to deal with it sympathetically

Unauthorised Absence

There are times when children are absent for reasons, which are not permitted by law.  These are known as “unauthorised absences”.

 

Examples of unauthorised absence are:

  • Waiting on a delivery
  • Going shopping or for a hair cut
  • Going for a family day out
  • Because it is your child’s birthday
  • Sleeping in after a late night
  • Unapproved Holidays

Where there is no explanation for the absence or where the explanation or reason for the absence is considered unsatisfactory.

Unauthorised Absences have to be reported to the Local Authority. The School may inform the School Attendance Officer and consider taking legal action against you if your child has unauthorised absences.

 

Punctuality

Morning registration is at (9.00am) This is the time your child must be in the line in the playground/ or the classroom, so you need to ensure your child is coming through the school gate by (8.50am)

  •  It is important to be on time as the first few minutes of the school day are often used to give out instructions or organise schoolwork for the rest of the day.
  •  If your child misses this short but vital session, their work for the whole day may be affected.  Late arrivals are disruptive to the whole class and often embarrassing for your child. We take the view there are no late children, only late parents.
  • Arrival after the close of registration may be marked as unauthorised absence in line with the DFE guidance.
  • We will let you know if we have concerns about your child’s punctuality.
  • Children who remain uncollected at the end of school time will be referred to a place of safety if not collected or the school contacted by school closing time.

 

Term Time Leave of Absence

The Government has amended key legislation relating specifically to the authorisation of leave in term time which came into force on 1st September 2013.

We are always concerned about the amount of school time pupils miss as a result of family holidays.  There is no entitlement to time off in term time. Leave of absence is only allowed at the discretion of the Headteacher in accordance with the school policy as agreed by the board of governors 

 

As of 1st September 2013 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. 

It is our policy to consider the following in regard to requests leave:-

  • That only in exceptional circumstances will leave of absence be allowed (i.e. bereavement – close family member, service families, special events i.e. weddings). 
  • If work based ballots are used to allocate leave then a letter will be required from the employer to confirm term time allocation. (The cheaper cost of holidays in term time is not an acceptable reason for an application).
  • Unauthorised absence will be referred to the LCC Attendance Consultant and may result in the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice.
  • Parents wishing to apply for leave of absence in term-time need to fill in an application form well in advance and before booking.  Please ask the school office for a form; the head teacher will consider your request and advise you of her decision, (possibly asking to meet with you to discuss) further time than allowed will be unauthorised and you risk your child being taken off the school roll.
  • However ; No applications for leave of absence will be considered in years 2 and 6 or for the start of any academic year due to exams.
  • OR    Avoid taking time out of school in September, as it is very unsettling for a child to miss the start of the school year.
  • If the school does not agree and you take your child on holiday, the absence will be unauthorised.
  • That if a pupils’ attendance rate is already below the 96% or will fall to or below that level as a result of taking leave, the request will not be authorised.
  • Other periods of leave that the pupil may have had either during the current or previous academic year.
  • Please remember that the more time your child misses from school, the more difficult it is for them to catch up with their work.  Valuable learning time is lost.  A good understanding of the work can only take place when the pupil is in the classroom.

 

Religious Absence

The school may authorise leave for one day ( i.e. the day set aside by the Religious Body of which the parent is a member) per religious festival. Parents must request this leave in advance but no more than 3 days will be allowed in one academic year.

 

Leavers

If your child is leaving other than at the end of Year 6 to go to High School, parents are asked to

  • Give the school full information about their plans including date of move, new address or at least the town you will be moving to, new school and start date when known, and reasons for moving. (a form is available at the school office)
  • Confirm the school has your current mobile phone number
  • Take our school’s compliments slip so the new school can easily contact us and records be transferred
  • Let us know when you move

 

Children Missing Education

When pupils leave and you have not given us the above information, and cannot contact you, then your child is considered to be a Child Missing Education.  This means that the Local Authority has a legal duty to carry out investigations, which will include liaising with Children’s Services, the Police and other agencies, to try to track and locate your child.

By giving us the above information, unnecessary investigations can be avoided.

 

Legal Note

Parents have a legal duty to ensure the regular and full time attendance at school of registered pupils (Education Act 1996). This policy is based on the law and on Best Practice guidance produced by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Local Authority.  The School Attendance Service aims to work with schools and families to promote good attendance and avoid legal action.  However in some cases, parents are prosecuted (taken to court) or have to pay a Fixed Penalty (fine) if unauthorised absences continue.

 

We hope all parents will acknowledge and understand the limitations placed on schools in granting any leave in term time. Therefore, we need parents to support the school in our efforts to reduce unnecessary absence and thus minimise the impact on the education of our pupils.

 

We value your support in helping us to maintain high standards.

“Every day counts…..”

Any text highlighted in red is a change to the previously accepted attendance policy.