ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY
We at St. Joseph’s believe that children cannot learn if they are absent from school, therefore, we aim to ensure that all our children take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them and to raise standards by promoting regular attendance and punctuality of pupils.
We are committed to providing an education of the highest quality for all our pupils. We believe high attainment depends on good attendance.
We expect all school personnel to support and promote excellent school attendance by acting as role models and to work hard to provide a learning environment in which all pupils are eager to learn, feel valued and enjoy coming to school.
Improving attendance at St. Joseph’s is the responsibility of everyone in the school community, Parents, Children, Staff and Governors.
Sometimes a pupil’s absence or lateness may not be their fault and in these circumstances it is our policy to be supportive of the child and not to make them feel guilty or inadequate. Also, at times we have to give allowances for religious beliefs and individual family circumstances.
Should children be absent from school for a medical appointment, a medical reason or prolonged illness the school will require medical evidence from the family GP or hospital.
A pupil’s absence from school must be considered as unauthorised until a satisfactory explanation is received from the parent. Only the school may authorise an absence. Notification of absence from a parent does not oblige the school to accept the explanation as a valid reason for absence. This is in accordance with the latest guidance from the DFES which states that:-
Absence can be authorised if:-
- The child was absent with permission from the Head Teacher
- The child was ill or prevented from attending by an unavoidable cause. Medical evidence may be requested.
- The absence occurred on a day exclusively set aside for religious observance by the religious group to which the child’s parent belong.
- There is a family bereavement
- The child is excluded
- The child is involved in an exceptional special occasion.
Absence will not be authorised if:-
- No explanation is forthcoming whether requested or not
- No evidence of a medical appointment is forthcoming whether requested or not
- The school is dissatisfied with the explanation
- The parent takes the child shopping during school hours
- The pupil is absent for unexceptional special occasions (eg birthday)
- The LA is in the process of undertaking statutory action for non school attendance.
A penalty notice may be issued to each parent/carer liable for the offence or offences. The cost of a penalty notice is £120 per pupil, reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days. There is no right of appeal against the issuing a penalty.
Procedures for following up absence
If a child is absent without an explanation being received, the school will contact the parents. If the absentee is a child about whom there are concerns, the Headteacher will inform the Educational Welfare Officer and will make every effort to contact the parents immediately. If a child is persistently or intermittently absent or late, the Headteacher will write to the parents drawing attention to this. If the situation does not improve, parents will be invited to attend a meeting at the school. The Local Authority may be informed.
When a child returns to school after a period of absence, a note should be provided to explain the absence. Notes from parents will be sent by the class teacher to the school office each day. All telephone messages regarding absence/lateness are recorded.
The school discourages lateness as it disrupts both the education of the pupil concerned and of others. All children who arrive late (after 8.55 am) must report to the reception office and must be signed into the late book with a reason for lateness recorded. This process must be completed by the child’s parent or carer. This book is kept both for monitoring purposes and for accounting in an emergency.
Arrival between 8.55 am and 9.20 am will be coded as ‘L’ (Late)
Arrival after 9.20 am will be coded as “U” . Non attendance for the morning session will be recorded as “O” (Unauthorised)
If a satisfactory explanation is received, the period in which the child is late may be treated as an authorised absence (e.g. medical appointments)
We believe it is essential to regularly remind parents of the importance of good attendance and its links to pupil attainment. The Education Act 1996 clearly states that the prime responsibility of parents/carers is to ensure that their children attend school regularly.
The Department for Education's (DfE) changes to The Education (Pupil Registration)(England) Regulations 2006 have removed all reference to family holiday and extended leave, as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days.
- From 1 September 2013, headteachers are unable to agree leave of absence during term time unless they are satisfied there are exceptional circumstances.
- Should absence be agreed, headteachers can specify the number of days a pupil will be allowed to be absent from school.
- Where leave of absence is not agreed and the pupil is out of school or the pupil is away longer than was agreed or an application has not been made in advance, the absence is recorded as unauthorised.
- Headteachers cannot give retrospective approval.
- Where leave of absence is taken for a holiday that has not been authorised, a headteacher may request the local authority to issue a Penalty Notice.
- Penalty Notices are issued to each parent for each child who is absent without the agreement of the headteacher.
To encourage attendance throughout the school we offer the following rewards:
During the weekly Thursday Assembly, Attendance Ted is awarded to the class who achieved the highest attendance in the previous week. Attendance Ted stays with the class for the whole week.
At the end of every second term, (Christmas, Easter and end of year) the year group with the highest attendance is awarded a non-school uniform day and a small class celebration.
At the end of Term 2 (Christmas) children who have achieved 100% attendance will be awarded a Bronze badge and a certificate.
At the end of Term 4 (Easter) children who have achieved 100% attendance from Term 1 through to Term 4 will be awarded a Silver badge and a certificate.
At the end of Term 6 (Summer) children who have achieved 100% attendance for the whole academic year will be awarded a Gold Attendance Badge and a certificate.
These children will receive an extra reward and will also be entered into a draw to win a bumper prize.