The School Day, Attendance and Punctuality
As you will no doubt be aware there is a very clear link between how well children do at school and how often they attend. At St. Mary of the Angels our expectation is that children attend school every day for every lesson. We believe that regular, uninterrupted attendance secures the best possible learning achievement for all of our children and we are committed to working with families to achieve this.
The Government regard 95% as the minimum satisfactory attendance for a primary school child and the minimum attendance we expect is 96%.
A child registered at St Mary of the Angels can only legally miss School if:
- The child is too ill to come into school
- The child has a medical appointment (parents/carers must try to avoid arranging appointments for their child during the day; however, we know that sometimes this is unavoidable.)
- The school has authorised the absence beforehand.
If your child is ill then you must let the School Office know as soon as possible before 9.00 am on the same day. Please keep School informed if your child is going to be away for more than a day. Telephone Number: 01922 743411
If school does not receive a telephone call/message/email, parents/carers will be contacted as soon as the register closes. If we do not receive an explanation for your child’s absence, then it will be recorded on their file as an unauthorised absence.
If a child has a medical appointment, wherever possible, an appointment card must be shown to the school office so that the absence can be authorised. This will be copied for school records.
Requests for Leave during Term-Time
Headteachers have no discretion to grant leave of absence during term-time unless there are genuinely exceptional circumstances. It is the responsibility of parents/carers to contact school in writing when requesting any leave for their children so that each case can be considered on an individual basis.
The following situations might be considered examples of "exceptional circumstances":
- Return of a parent from active service (Forces)
- Death or serious illness of a parent, step-parent or sibling
- Young Carers
- Disability or respite leave
- Periods of obligatory religious observance
- Approved public performances (with clear supporting evidence)
Any request for absence which might be considered as "exceptional circumstances" should be put in writing to the Headteacher as far in advance as possible, including any relevant supporting documents. The decision whether to grant leave, and if so how much, remains with the Headteacher. Parents/carers will be notified of the Headteacher's decision at the earliest opportunity.
The following (not exhaustive) are examples of situations which would not typically be considered as "exceptional circumstances"
- Family holiday/cheaper holiday dates
- Educational visits arranged by family members during school time
- Attendance at a party or birthday
- Visiting relatives, either abroad or in the UK
- Limitations on parents’ leave entitlement or dates, parents’ profession or place of work making it difficult to coincide school and work holidays
- A family member going for medical treatment abroad
If you take your child out of school without the prior approval of the school, you may be liable for penalty fine.
A penalty fine is £60.00 per parent per child
(if paid within 28 days)
(2 children = £120 x 2 parents = £240.00).
This increases to £100 after 28 days or before 42 days. (2 children - £200 x 2 parents = £400.00)
We have three stages of attendance monitoring:-
ATTENDANCE BETWEEN 92% TO 95%
When your child's attendance drops to between 92% - 95% you will be notified by a letter from school. It will state your child's attendance and our concern. We will ask you to be mindful of this and where ever possible provide evidence of their illness for each subsequent time that they are absent from School.
ATTENDANCE BETWEEN 90% AND 92%
When your child's attendance drops between 90% and 92%, another letter will be sent. It, will again state your child's attendance and will advise you that your child is at risk of becoming a Persistent Absentee who will be referred to our Education Welfare Office. It is at this stage that you may be invited to a meeting in school to see how we can support you.
PERSISTENT ABSENTEES - ABSENCE BELOW 90%
When your child's attendance drops below 90% they are classed as a Persistent Absentee and will drop onto our Persistent Absentee list. We are obliged by the Government, to refer them to the Educational Welfare Officer who will monitor their attendance closely and any absences will be recorded as unauthorised unless sufficient proof of illness is seen. If no improvement is made, then a Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued to you.
There are only 190 statutory days in one school year.
There are 175 days (weekends and school holidays) available to use for holidays.
The School is opened at 8.45 am and registers are taken at 9:00am.
The gate is locked at 8.55 am and the morning session commences promptly at 9.00am
If a child arrives in the morning after 9am, they are late and parents should register them into school on a late slip record which the school office staff will direct you to.
Late letters are produced at the beginning of each half term and are sent out to parents for your information.
If a child is persistently late and there is no improvement made, then the matter will be referred to the Educational Welfare Officer.
Impact of Lateness
Lateness impacts on both the child and the class.
- Misses first part of the lesson
- Disrupts other children
- Feels vulnerable, upset and different by arriving late in class
- Does marginally worse in exams
- Misses important morning announcements
- The dysregulation children can feel entering a working classroom can cause long lasting emotional damage
- When you combine this with lost learning minutes every week adding up day after day, the results can be considerable (15 minutes per day converts to approximately 10 days learning over a school year)
- Teacher having to repeat instructions
- Disrupted when child walks in
- Attainment is affected by lateness
- Lates can affect the classes attendance figures if the child is late after the register closes.
BEING 15 MINUTES LATE EACH DAY IS THE SAME AS MISSING 2 WEEKS OF SCHOOL!
- making sure they understand the importance of good attendance and punctuality.
- taking an interest in their education, ask about schoolwork and encourage them to get involved in school activities.
- discussing any problems they may have at school and letting their teacher or a senior leader know about anything serious.
- not letting children take time off school for minor ailments, particularly those which would not prevent you from going to work.