In our continuing drive to improve pupil attendance, I would like to bring to your attention the way in which attendance is monitored in school. As with all schools, we are expected to have robust and effective practices in place for monitoring the attendance of all pupils.
To keep things clear and simple, we have adopted a RED, AMBER, GREEN (or RAG) monitoring system which offers a scale of attendance percentage and what this means.
GREEN - 96% and above.
Good attendance – in line with, or above national expected average, ideally where all children, according to the Department for Education, should aim to be.
AMBER - below 96%
Attendance below expected level - If your child drops below 96%, they are considered to be in amber, a warning that attendance has dropped and needs to improve.
RED – no improvement
If attendance has not improved from amber, despite intervention from school, Education Welfare will become involved, which could ultimately result in fines for persistent absence.
There are often legitimate reasons for attendance to fall, especially through illness, which is why it is vital, that as parents, you contact school on the 1st day of absence to let us know the reason your child is not coming to school. Try to avoid medical appointments during school time, or make them as close to the end of the school day as possible. It is important to avoid term time holidays. Headteachers are no longer allowed to authorise holidays during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Please apply for leave in these circumstances in advance of booking as an unauthorised holiday maybe subject to a fixed term penalty from the Local Authority (LA).
As ever, if you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact the office.
School Attendance Policy
The Department for Education expects schools and local authorities to promote good attendance and reduce absences, including persistent absence. This is because we know that missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary schools.
As a school we work incredibly hard to support all children and their families so as to ensure that all children have good attendance.
You may be aware that the Government has made amendments to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 which came into force on 1st September 2013. These state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence for holidays during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances; in these cases it is the Headteacher who determines the number of days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.
As a consequence of these changes, Headteachers are unable to approve requests for leave of absence for reasons that are not considered to be special or exceptional such as:
- Availability of cheap holidays and cheap travel arrangements.
- Days overlapping with beginning or end of term
- Holidays arranged by other family members e.g. grandparents
Parents needing leave of absence for exceptional circumstances should complete a form at least two weeks before the anticipated start date. The reason for the request should be given in detail. Applications should be made before the leave is arranged as absences will not be granted retrospectively.
I would like to remind parents/carers that this is Government policy and those who take their children on holiday without permission will incur unauthorised absences for their child. These remain on the child’s record and will be monitored for further action by the Education Welfare Service. Parents could be issued with a fixed penalty notice and/or court action.
Thank you for your support and understanding.