The importance of regular school attendance and punctuality
Regular school attendance and good punctuality plays a fundamental role in the academic, social, and personal growth of our children. We believe that children cannot learn and develop if they are absent from school or regularly late. We want all children to have the best possible attendance at school to enable each and every child to reach their full potential.
There is a strong link between good school attendance and achieving educational success. Research has shown that poor attendance is linked to poor attainment. Children who frequently miss school fall behind and this may affect their future prospects
We aim to ensure that all our children take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them by promoting strong attendance and punctuality and reducing persistent absenteeism. We expect all our children to achieve 97%+ attendance each academic year. We want to work closely with our families, to support them in helping their child achieve this target.
Arriving late has the same negative impact on children as does being absent:
5 minutes late each day is 3 days lost
10 minutes late each day is 6.5 days lost
20 minutes late each day is 13 days lost
30 minutes late each day is 19 days lost
Your responsibilities as a parent
In England, parents have a legal responsibility to ensure that their child receives an education. Children are required to start full-time education at the beginning of the school term following their fifth birthday. They must continue in education or training until the age of 18. This can be in a school or other education or training provision, such as an apprenticeship. Children have to attend school for a 190 days every school year.
Parents are legally required to ensure their child's regular attendance at the school they are registered with. Failing to do so without a valid reason can result in legal action.
Parental support is critical in ensuring that children achieve in education and support and guidance is always available at our school. Mrs Salmon is our Attendance Leader for our school, working in partnership with Mr Iain Mclellan from the Local Authority Education and Attendance Service.
What the law says
Parents have a legal responsibility for ensuring that children of compulsory school age receive a full-time education ‘suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special education needs that they may have either by regular attendance at school or otherwise’. Section 7 Education Act 1996.
Parents whose children are on a school register and fail to ensure the regular school attendance of their children, may be guilty of an offence under Section 444 or 444 (1A) of the Education Act 1996. The council may issue a Penalty Notice or take other statutory action through the courts to secure regular school attendance.
Our school has adopted the Local Authority, Educational Neglect Policy. The policy clearly defines how all services such as education, social care, health and all other professionals respond to concerns of educational neglect. This, alongside our Improving Attendance Policy, provides a clear framework for handling absenteeism.
Term time absence requests
Please read this full absenteeism section BEFORE completing this form. Provide as much information as possible about the request you are making. If you feel that the circumstances around the request will be deemed exceptional as explained on this page, the detail must be provided. Further evidence may be requested of you at a later date. The request will be sent to Mrs Salmon. Mrs Salmon is the leader for attendance for our federation of schools. You will receive a response within 3 working days.
All absences must be reported to the school office on the first day of absence and before 9.30am. If no contact is made, our school will endeavour to make contact. Being absent from school, without a reason, will be unauthorised and this will be held on a child's file. Our improving attendance policy provides more detail on the steps the school will take.
Types of absence
Unauthorised absence – this is when children are absent from school without the authority of the school. Below is a list of some of the reasons where absence from school may not be authorised;
Taking the rest of the day off, before or after a dental or medical appointment
Shopping or visit to hairdresser
Taking a long week-end
Authorised absence – There are very few reasons why absence may be authorised and in all cases you must inform us and explain the reasons why your child is absent. If you need to take your child out of school during term time for exceptional circumstances, then you must contact us, we will inform you of the school procedure and steps to take. Only the senior leadership at the school can authorise absence and may request further evidence to support this.
- Religious Observance- We encourage our families to celebrate religious events. Children are expected to be in school leading up to a religious festivals and back in school immediately after. School will only authorise the date of the festival, a maximum of 2 days per academic year, anything more than this will be unauthorised.
- Sporting Events- We must ensure that children do not fall behind academically due to absences for sporting events. We may consider the importance of the event in question. For example, if a child is participating in a regional championship or a prestigious competition that could have a significant impact on their future, we may approve the absence. We will not authorise sports training or coaching sessions, or allow absences for the purpose of travelling to an event that takes place over a weekend. We will require written confirmation for the appropriate body of tournaments, competitions or sports trails.
- Acting- Whether acting, auditions and theatre activities are approved for a child's absence will depend on the specific circumstances around the event and how the child will be impacted. All requests must be put in writing to us and each will be considered individually.
Children may need to take time off from school for medical appointments for various reasons. Where possible, please make medical appointments outside of school hours. We understand that this is sometimes difficult, on these occasions please provide school with medical evidence, this could be a card or letter. Although the school may approve a medical appointment, it DOES reduce your child’s percentage attendance. We will not authorise siblings being taken out of school when they do not have an appointment.
Term time holidays
We do not authorise holidays during term-time. The regulations we have to follow state that ' the Headteacher may not grant any leave of absence unless there are exceptional circumstances'. We expect all parents to inform us of any planned holidays and if circumstances are deemed to be exceptional, they will be considered on an individual basis. Research shows that a break of one week or more from school can often lead to children falling behind in their work and that some children never catch up.
For further information on how Oldham Council issues penalty notices, click the link below...