At Avenue Primary School we believe that good school attendance gives children the opportunity of success and helps develop skills for life. We believe it is vital that all children attend school every day unless there is an unavoidable cause like illness. We remind parents and carers that it is their legal responsibility to ensure their child attends school regularly and punctually.
Every child should end the year with attendance above 97%.
We monitor the attendance of pupils daily and should a child’s attendance or punctuality begin to cause concern we use our Attendance Policy to help them return to regular schooling. Our school’s Attendance policy can be found on the Policy section of our website and this provides more detailed information on this.
Did you know that if your child misses school on a regular basis it may:
- Seriously hinder your child’s learning and their ability to do well and achieve
- Affect their confidence to attempt new learning and their ability to work and learn alongside others in general and as a result develop reluctance or indeed refuse to attend school
- Disrupt your child’s routines and make them feel vulnerable on their return to school
- Cause disruption to teaching routines (if teachers need to revisit previous learning) and as a result affect the learning of other children in your child’s class
- Affect their ability to make and sustain friendship groups. Children who are regularly absent from school often feel excluded from play-time games and activities and feel they have little in common with their peers
- Lead to your child becoming disillusioned with school and education school as they get older
Reporting your child’s absence
We do appreciate that children fall ill, and that parents/carers may need to keep them at home. It is important that the school is informed on the first day of absence. Should a child be unable to attend school, parents/carers should:
- Notify us before the start of the school day of the absence and give a reason for the absence. This needs to happen every day a child is absent even if the reason for the absence is the same as the previous day. We encourage and recommend that all parents use the school’s attendance app for this https://studybugs.com/ . This is the easiest way for parents and carers to send a direct message without having to call. Alternatively a call can be made on 020 8553 5682 extension 217. Explanations by the child or siblings are not accepted.
- On return from absence (or before an appointment) submit evidence to the school office. This may be an appointment card or a prescription. You may need to provide us with original documents if the absence is related to unplanned leave. This can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org .
- If the absence is following a request for leave during term time, medical evidence MUST be provided.
What happens if your child does not arrive at school?
- First day: Contact will be attempted with the family. This will be a text message or telephone call. This will take place as soon as possible, in order to notify parents whose children may have set off for school, but not arrived.
- Second day: If the child remains absent for a second day without contact from the family, a text message/telephone call will be received to again attempt to ascertain a reason for absence. Emergency contact numbers for the pupil may be used to try and reach the family.
- Third day: If no contact has been made by the third day of a child’s absence, telephone calls will be received to again attempt to ascertain a reason for absence. Emergency contact numbers for the pupil may be used to try and reach the family. . The school will also decide whether a home visit is needed. Emergency contact numbers for the pupil may be used to try and reach the family. Advice about next steps may also be sought from the local authority.
Children who are Looked After (LAC), subject to a Child Protection Plan (CP), Children in Need (CIN), or where the school has other safeguarding concerns, will be treated with highest priority. If a contact cannot be made on the first day of absence then a home visit may be carried out and other professionals working with the family will be informed.
Requests for leave during term-time
Any request for leave during term time must be made in writing to the school and submitted to the school’s Attendance Officer. This will be looked at in conjunction with the school’s Attendance Lead on behalf of the Headteacher. A meeting will then be arranged and held with the parent about the request and the decision made.
Each request is looked at on a case by case basis. The Headteacher will only grant leave of absence during term-time only in the most exceptional circumstances. In these cases, the number of school days a child can be away from school will be stated and a return date specified. Leave is not granted in most cases due to the detrimental effect of absence and persistent absences for pupils.
If a child is taken on leave during term-time, without obtaining the school’s agreement, a Penalty Notice is issued. Parents may also receive a fine if return from an extended term-time holiday, without school agreement, is delayed. A Penalty Notice requires each parent to pay £60 per child, if they pay within 21 days. If they do not pay within 21 days, but pay within 28 days, the fine rises to £120 per parent per child. If they do not pay at all they risk prosecution under S.444 (1) of the Education Act 1996. In cases of Persistent Absence (less than 90%) the school may recommend to the Local Authority prosecution through the Magistrates Court.
We are unable to accept medical evidence provided from overseas. If a child has been unwell whilst abroad, medical evidence from the child’s GP or Hospital in the UK is required upon return to School.
Understanding absence percentages -Did you know?
You may wonder why a school would be concerned if your child’s attendance is less than 95%. This may make it easier to understand:
- 95% = half a day off every two weeks, 10 days absence over the year.
- 90% = a day off every two weeks, 19 days absence over the year.
- A child whose attendance is below 90% is regarded as persistently absent
- 85% = one and a half days off every two weeks, 29 days absence over the year. This is the same as a whole half term absence.
- 80% = a whole day off every week, 38 days absence over the year.
Parents/carers have the responsibility to ensure that their child arrives on time for school each morning. The school gates open at 8.45am and learning begins at 8.55am. School gates close at 9am.
Pupils who arrive after registers close will be marked as unauthorised late (which affects their attendance percentage).
If a pupil arrives late, they miss an important part of the school day; this can affect their self-esteem and learning.
Lateness adds up and as you can see, even 5 minutes late everyday leads to a total of 3 days of learning lost each year!