Gladstone Road Primary School recognises that good attendance enables pupils to: benefit from the full range of educational experiences on offer; establish good habits; achieve their potential and make good progress in their learning. The school also recognises that a lively and exciting curriculum which motivates and engages pupils is vital to securing their attendance. The school is vigilant in ascertaining the whereabouts of children absent from school and sees this as part of its duty to promote the safety and welfare of all pupils.
This policy outlines the procedures and strategies to fulfill our school aims and to provide a consistent approach which all staff can follow. It applies to all pupils in school. A separate policy called “Attendance Management Policy” applies to staff.
· To enable pupils to benefit from education and learning to achieve their potential
· To encourage regular attendance and reduce unauthorised absence and lateness
· To provide a consistent approach to dealing with attendance issues.
To promote and encourage regular attendance at school we use a number of incentives, though continuity and progression in learning is always highlighted as the prime benefit derived from regular school attendance.
· Weekly – The class(es) with the best attendance are celebrated in assembly.
· Termly – Certificates are awarded at the end of each term for 100% attendance.
· Annually – Children who achieve 100% attendance over the course of a whole year are awarded a certificate and a gold badge and are invited to take part in a reward activity.
· Individual Incentives – Staff will work collaboratively with parents and children to tailor a package of support, which meets the needs of individual children whose attendance has become a concern. This might include short-term reward charts, small prizes or supporting parents with the school journey where necessary.
Class teachers register the pupils in their class at the start of morning and afternoon sessions using an electronic registration system. This calculates daily totals including authorised and unauthorised absences.
Children arriving after completion of the register are marked ‘L’ – Late (before registers closed) and their names are recorded by Attendance Officer giving reasons for their late arrival. Children arriving after 9.30am are registered ‘U’ – Unauthorised absence as pupil arrived after registers.
Parents are expected to notify the school before 8.45am on the first day of any absence. This information is recorded on the register using the appropriate codes.
On completion of the electronic register the Attendance Officer monitors all absences. If no explanation for absence has been received the Attendance Officer or member of the Safeguarding Team contacts the parent/carer by phone, text or email in the first instance. The reason for absence or lateness is entered into the individual child’s record of attendance.
Parents have a duty to provide more than one emergency contact for their child’s records to assist in safeguarding our pupils.
If the Attendance Officer has been unable to make contact with parent/carers by 9.30am on the first day of absence a home visit may be carried out by a member of the Safeguarding Team to ascertain the reason.
Vomiting & Diarrhoea
The school follows NHS advice around infection control and asks that parents keep their child off school for 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped.
Extended Illness Absence
If a pupil has been reported absent with illness lasting for 5 school days or more a member of the Safeguarding team may carry out a home visit or request a parent/carer attends school to ascertain any additional support which may be needed for the pupil.
Class Teachers bring children who are not collected promptly at the end of the day to the upper school office and their names are entered into the Late Collection Sheet. Office staff supervise the child until collection, then record the time of departure and the reason given by the person collecting and monitor the late book. The Attendance Officer initially raises concerns with parents who frequently arrive late to collect their children. If the situation does not improve the Head teacher and /or the PSWO will meet with parents to improve matters.
Attendance & Punctuality Improvement
In cases where improvement in attendance or punctuality is required, we may:
- Report to you when your child’s attendance/punctuality is causing a concern either in writing or verbally.
- Invite you to an Attendance Panel to discuss these concerns with the Headteacher and Pupil Safeguarding & Welfare Office or Learning Mentor.
- Make a referral to the Early Help Service for further intervention and support
- Submit a Fixed Penalty Notice Fine (see section 2) to the Local Authority
Children Missing in Education
The school will comply with all the Local Authority procedures for children who are missing from Education and will take all steps to ascertain their whereabouts
Long Period Illness
Children who have been absent for a long period of time due to illness or medical procedures will be reintegrated to school on a phased basis. Arrangements for educational provision will be made following advice from the Attendance and Behavior Advisor.
Children who are absent due to exclusion will be provided with work to complete at home and the exclusion period will be kept to a minimum. Parents must agree to keep their child out of a public place during school hours. Failure to comply could result in a fine
Fixed Penalty Notice Fines
Penalty Notice Fines may be issued by the Local Authority to adults with Parental Responsibility when a child has been unauthorised absent from school for 10 or more sessions in any 12 week period during the academic year.
The following circumstances are considered as appropriate reasons for the issuing of Penalty Notices:
- Truancy, including truancy sweeps
- Parentally-condoned absences
- Holidays in term time
- Excessive delayed return from extended holidays
- Persistent lateness after the register has closed
- Persistent absenteeism.
All Penalty Notice Fine referrals are checked by the Local Authority to ensure that the request meets the conditions of the Code of Conduct.
FAST TRACK to Court
The school works closely with the North Yorkshire Attendance & Enforcement Officers and will seek advice in cases where a FAST TRACK referral may be more appropriate than a Fixed Penalty Notice Fine. The criteria for a FAST TRACK referral are the same as for a Fixed Penalty Notice Fine.
Leave of Absence
The Headteacher monitors Attendance and applications for Leave of Absence.
We recognise that pupil absence during term time can seriously disrupt a pupil’s continuity of learning. In line with DfE and Local Authority guidance, Gladstone Road Primary School operates a ‘zero tolerance’ policy with regards to Unauthorised Leave. Parents are therefore strongly urged to avoid booking a family holiday in term time.
Following changes to “The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2006; no leave of absence will be granted unless there are exceptional circumstances. No parent or carer can demand leave as of right.
Parents do not have an automatic right to withdraw pupils from school for a holiday.
a. Each request for leave of absence must be made in advance, at least 6 weeks before the leave is to take place, by the parent with whom the child lives by completing an ‘Application for Pupil Leave of Absence in Term Time’ form which is available from the School Office.
In some circumstances, we understand that this may not be possible, however it is a parents responsibility to ensure that school are notified as soon as practically possible.
b. If the Headteacher considers that leave of absence is to be granted it will be recorded as authorised. However, if a parent keeps a child away for longer than was agreed, any extra time is regarded as unauthorised.
c. Where a child is taken out of school for the purpose of leave of absence in term time without permission of the school then a penalty notice may be issued.
d. Each parent may be fined per child. From September 1st, 2013 parents will pay £60 if paid within 21 days of the notice or £120 if they pay within 28 days.
e. The school may delete from the roll a pupil who fails to return within 20 school days of the agreed return date, unless there is good reason for continued absence, and only with the permission of the LA. School will make every effort to ascertain the whereabouts of a pupil before deletion from the school roll.
Unauthorised Leave of 10 or more sessions (5 or more school days) will qualify for a Fixed Penalty Notice Fine for each adult with Parental Responsibility, regardless of whether they travelled with the child.
The application of this policy will be reviewed formally every three years unless legislation changes
Next review May 2021