At Grange Community Nursery & Primary School we believe that good attendance is essential for pupils to take full advantage of the school and to gain the appropriate skills which will equip them for life. When your child is absent from school, he or she misses the teaching provided on the days when absent, and on their return are also less prepared for the lessons building on that teaching. There is a consequent risk of underachievement when absence is high, which the school and parents both wish to avoid. We do accept that there may be sessions when a child must miss school – for example, if unwell; however, any other absences should be kept to an absolute minimum.
Procedures for Monitoring Attendance Levels
In-line with new Local Authority guidelines, as a school we now monitor all pupils whose attendance falls below 96%. If your child’s attendance falls below this level, we will write to parents/carers to remind them of the importance of attendance at school. If this attendance continues to fall, we will write to parents/carers again and, if appropriate, invite them in to discuss strategies. If attendance falls below 85%, we are obliged to refer the case to the Education Welfare Officer, who may issue parents with a ‘Fixed Penalty Notice’.
Procedures for Unauthorised Absences due to illness
When your child is ill, we seek to ensure that all absences are authorised by parents/carers through a phone call, a phone call should be made on each day of absence. In the case of an absence being unauthorised a letter will be sent to parents/carers outlining the absence and requesting an explanation. If the explanation is unsatisfactory or if absences continue to be unauthorised, a second letter is sent to parents/carers and a meeting may be arranged to discuss strategies. If ten unauthorised absences are accrued (one school day counts as two sessions) we are obliged to refer the case to the Education Welfare Officer, who may take the case further.
Procedures for Lateness
Whilst it is vital that your child attends school as often as possible, it is also vital to their education that they are on time each day. The beginning of a lesson is often the most important part and children are disadvantaged if they miss this. Therefore, as a school we also track children’s lateness. If three late marks are accrued, a late letter will be sent to parents/carers reminding them of the importance of being on time. If a further three late marks are accrued, a second letter will be sent. If lateness continues, parents/carers will be asked to attend a meeting in school to discuss strategies to avoid this situation in the future.
Term Time Holidays
The Department for Education has made amendments to the 2006 regulations for Pupil registration which came into for on the 1st September 2013.
These amendments remove all entitlement to family holidays and extended leave as well as the previous statutory threshold of ten school days. This means that from September 1st 2013 we are not authorising any absences during term time, other than for illness and medical/dental appointments.
If parents/carers do intend taking their child(ren) out of school during term time for 10 sessions or more, we request that an ‘Information regarding absence in term-time form is completed and handed into school prior to the absence. This is to ensure we are safeguarding our children and know their whereabouts when they are not in school. These forms are available from the School Office or can be downloaded from the school website.
In situations where families do take leave for 10 sessions or more, we will be informing
Inf Education Welfare of the absence and they may issue a Fixed Penalty Notice. These Fixed Penalty Notices are part of the Government’s drive to improve attendance.
The cost of the Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) is £60 per child, per parent and must be paid to Cheshire West and Chester within 21 days, in one lump sum.
If not paid, this will double to £120 per child, per parent. If the fine has not been paid after 28 days, legal action will be taken by the Local Authority. (Please note that this reflects amendments to 2007 regulations, which have reduced timescales for paying FPNs)
As many of you will be aware, the DCSF & Ofsted monitor the attendance of children in school very closely and our school will be held to account if we do not enforce the changes.
School Attendance Policy
If you wish at any time to view the school’s Attendance Policy, please do not hesitate to ask for a copy from the School Office, who will deal with your request as quickly as possible. A copy can also be found on the school’s website and the Virtual Learning Platform. The Policy is updated in accordance with our Policy Review Cycle or more regularly when changes are necessary.
Further information www.dcsf.gov.uk/school attendance