At Bantock Primary School we aspire to high standards of attendance from all pupils to build a culture where all can, and want to, be in school and ready to learn. We aim to:-
- Create an effective and stimulating learning environment where everyone’s contribution is valued regardless of gender, race or ability and pupils can develop a sense of pride in both themselves and the school.
- Promote the benefits of high attendance and punctuality by using a range of award initiatives for individuals and classes
- Rigorously monitor, identify patterns and publish attendance to increase awareness and accountability
- Develop a close liaison with parents by listening and understanding
- Facilitate and provide effective social and emotional support by removing barriers to access support
- Formalise the support where persistent absence persists by working closely with the Education Welfare Officer and relevant agencies to ensure parents are aware of their legal duty that their children attend school regularly.
- Enforce attendance through statutory intervention or prosecution to protect the pupil’s right to education.
The aim is for all children to have an overall attendance of at least 96%. If a child achieves 80% attendance, this means that they have missed approximately 40 days of education over the academic year, averaging 1 day per week.
Why Attendance Matters
Less than 5 days absence = 98%+ attendance
14 days absence (approx..) = 93.5% attendance
20 days absence (approx.) = 90% attendance
30 days absence (approx..) = 88% attendance
Whole School Attendance
This is the attendance for last half term. Individual class attendance is reported on our half-termly newsletters.
All parents must contact the school before 9.00am on the first day of their child’s absence (and every day of absence thereafter) to explain and authorise the absence by calling 01902 558710. Alternatively, parents can come into school and explain to the staff in the office why their child is absent, or email the school at email@example.com
The School will ring/send a text to the parents/carers of children whose absence has not been authorised after the register closes at 9.15am.
Absence due to illness will be authorised unless the school has a genuine concern about the authenticity of the illness. If a child has repeated absence we will require medical evidence. This evidence could include:
- a prescription
- appointment card which has been stamped by the GP surgery
- photograph of antibiotics being taken, or
- other appropriate form of evidence
If the school is not satisfied about the authenticity of the illness, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and parents will be notified of this.
If the absence due to illness is for 5 consecutive days or more, medical proof will always be required. If a pupil is absent due to illness for 3 or more consecutive days IMMEDIATELY BEFORE OR AFTER A SCHOOL HOLIDAY medical proof will be required. If sufficient medical proof is not received, then the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.
Medical or Dental Appointments
Parents are asked to make medical/dental appointments outside of school time. If medical appointments are within the school day, evidence of the appointment is requested, and if/when provided, is copied and recorded. If the appointment is in the morning we expect a child to return afterwards. If the appointment is in the afternoon, we expect a child to be in school beforehand.
Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If a child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the day. Late arriving pupils also disrupt lessons, can be embarrassing for the child and can also encourage absence.
Repeated late arrival and collection from school are monitored by the school and referred to the Education Welfare Officer if the situation is not improved following school support.
If parents are going to be late collecting their child from school at the end of the day then they must contact the school as soon as possible. If their child is going to be collected by another adult, parents must ensure that they have informed their child’s teacher and that the adult is known by the child’s teacher. We will not let children go home with adults who are not known to us.
Requests for Term-time Absence
The school recognises that there may be reasons for short periods of absence from the school; these can be for a variety of reasons. The school will authorise absence for the following:
- educated off site,
- approved sporting activity,
- religious observance
- educational visit or trip.
School will not authorise any absence from school for family holidays or visits.
Any absence from school that has not been agreed will be classed as unauthorised and parents must recognise that the school has the right to off-register (after 20 days) their child/ren during the period of time beyond the agreed the number of days. This may jeopardise the child’s place at the school.
Parents are expected to complete a Leave of Absence Request Form (available from the school office) for exceptional circumstances and will be informed in writing if the leave is approved or not. If the leave has not been approved or an application for leave was not completed, penalty notices will be issued.
Leave taken for the following reasons will not be authorised:
Availability of cheaper holidays
Availability of desired accommodation
Poor weather experienced in school holidays
Overlap with beginning or end of term
Booked the wrong dates by mistake
Booked by another family member
Attending a wedding that is not immediate family
Children at risk of persistent absence (90% and below) are identified by the Headteacher/Deputy Head and parenting contracts or Early Helps will be held to raise awareness within the family and offer support by the Education Welfare Officer.
If persistent unauthorised absence continues, a referral will be made to the LA School Attendance Support Team for legal intervention and prosecution in the Magistrates Court with a fine of up to Level 3 £1000 or up to Level 4 £2500 within 6 months of the alleged offence. Parents will be given a formal written notification, followed by a hearing date and a summons to be issued. Information on the LA’s procedures regarding school attendance can be found here.
Education Penalty Notices
Fixed Penalty Notices are served on parents as an alternative to prosecution where they have failed to ensure that their child of compulsory school age regularly attends the school where they are registered. Fixed penalty notices must be issued in line with the Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2007 and can only be issued by a headteacher or someone authorised by them (a deputy or assistant head), a local authority officer or the police. All schools and the police must send copies of fixed penalty notices issued to the local authority. The penalty is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. The payment must be paid direct to the local authority regardless of who issued the penalty notice.
The issuing of Penalty Notices may be appropriate in the following circumstances:
– Absence from school
At least 20 sessions (10 school days) lost to unauthorised absence within a period of no more than 12 weeks (term time)
A leave of absence of at least 10 consecutive sessions (5 school days) not approved by the Headteacher as exceptional
In cases where a child persistently arrives at school after the register has closed and has received at least 8 unauthorised late marks within a period of 10 weeks (term time)
– Where a child has been excluded from school and is found in a public place during school hours without reasonable justification within the first five days of the exclusion period (reasonable justification will be assessed on the individual circumstances of each case but may include the medical emergency of the parent or child or a pre-arranged medical appointment).
Parents and carers have a right to appeal over decisions relating to unauthorised absences. Appeals should be made to the Chair of Governors.