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Here is some information on term-time absences. Sometimes we have to send out letters about punctuality and attendance and this page explains school's position in this area, and our official duties and responsibilities to the Department for Education (DfE) and Nottinghamshire Local Authority..
Absences due to illness are unavoidable in most cases. There are also times when a child is ill in school and we have to ask you to pick them up early. And, of course, the '48-hour rule' applies when pupils are physically sick or have an upset tummy.
But there's no getting away from the fact that good attendance and punctuality is vital to good progress. Pupils need to attend school regularly if they are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them . Archbishop Cranmer Church of England Primary Academy fully recognises its responsibilities to ensure pupils are in school and on time, therefore having access to learning for the maximum number of days and hours. Our attendance target, set by our governors, is 97%.
Children who are persistently late or absent soon fall behind with their learning. Children who are absent from school frequently develop large gaps in their learning, which will impact on their progress and their ability to meet age related learning expectations. A child whose attendance drops to 90% each year will, over their time at primary school, have missed two whole terms of learning.
Aims and Objectives
Our attendance policy ensures that all staff and governors in our school are fully aware of and clear about the actions necessary to promote good attendance.
We aim to:
Improve pupils’ achievement by ensuring high levels of attendance and punctuality.
Achieve a minimum of 97% attendance for all children, apart from those with chronic health issues.
Create an ethos in which good attendance and punctuality are recognised as the norm and seen to be valued by the school.
Raise awareness of parents, carers and pupils of the importance of uninterrupted attendance and punctuality at every stage of a child’s education.
Work in partnership with pupils, parents, staff so that all pupils realise their potential, unhindered by unnecessary absence.
Promote a positive and welcoming atmosphere in which pupils feel safe, secure, and valued, and encourage in pupils a sense of their own responsibility.
Establish a pattern of monitoring attendance and ensure consistency in recognising achievement and dealing with difficulties.
Recognise the key role of all staff, but especially class teachers, in promoting good attendance.
We maintain and promote good attendance and punctuality through:
Raising awareness of attendance and punctuality issues among all staff, parents and pupils.
Ensuring that parents have an understanding of the responsibility placed on them for making sure their child attends regularly and punctually.
Equipping children with the life skills needed to take responsibility for good school attendance and punctuality appropriate to the child’s age and development.
Maintaining effective means of communication with parents, pupils, staff and governors on school attendance matters.
Developing and implementing procedures for identifying, reporting and reviewing cases of poor attendance and persistent lateness.
Supporting pupils who have been experiencing any difficulties at home or at school which are preventing good attendance.
Developing and implementing procedures to follow up non-attendance at school.
We expects parents/carers:
To ensure that their child arrives at school on time, a reason should be offered for any lateness.
To contact the school on the first day of absence.
To arrange medical appointments outside school hours whenever possible.
To take family holidays during school holiday periods and be aware that requests for holidays during term time will be refused except in special/exceptional circumstances.
To regularly update emergency contact details.
To keep requests for their child to be absent to a minimum
To offer a reason, or medical proof, for any period of absence, preferably before the absence or on the first day of absence
To work closely with the school to resolve any problems that may impede a child’s attendance
To be aware of curriculum requirements and be especially vigilant with regards to attendance during important academic times such as SATS
To support their child and recognise their successes and achievements
Good punctuality at school is essential for students to achieve their full educational potential. It is also vital for students to form good habits for later life
Pupils can come into school from 8.45 am (Year 6 enter their classroom, other classes line and the school day starts promptly at 8.55 a.m.
If a child arrives at school after 8.55 a.m. without prior arrangements having been agreed, he/she will be deemed late.
Registers close at 9.15 a.m. and arrival at school after this time, without prior approval or extenuating circumstances, will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.
Pupils arriving at school after 8.55 a.m. must enter via main reception and report to the school office to be signed in by an adult.
Pupils leaving school for any reason must report to the office before they go so that we can ensure that they are appropriately chaperoned and signed out.
Registers are also taken when the children return to classes after lunch.
Unexplained absences will be investigated
Lateness To School
According to DfE guidelines, registers must be closed after a certain time in the morning. Therefore, if a student arrives after 9.15am, they cannot receive a late mark but have to be marked as absent for the whole morning session. If the lateness is due to a legitimate reason e.g. a medical appointment, the absence can be authorised. Otherwise, the session is marked as an unauthorised absence
The school's support for good punctuality and attendance
We place a strong emphasis on good punctuality and attendance and support this by:-
Awarding the class with the highest weekly attendance a certificate and a visit from ‘Clive Cranmer’, our Attendance Bear.
Parents'/carers' support for good punctuality
We would ask parents to support us in maintaining good punctuality by:-
Ensuring that their children get up in plenty of time to be ready and prepared for school.
Ensuring their child has organised their bag and equipment the night before so that this does not delay departure in the morning.
Discussing any issues of lateness to ensure this does not become a habit.
Monitoring their child’s attendance record when it is sent home and looking for patterns of lateness.
Letters to parents regarding absence
We send out letters to parents whose child's attendance has fallen to 96% or below. This could have been due to a holiday at the beginning of the year or a spell of illness, particularly in the Autumn and Spring terms when the flu and cold bugs are thriving. We don't enjoy sending these letters out, but we hope you understand that we have a duty to alert parents to their child's attendance. Absence linked to COVID linked self-isolation does not count as an absence and will not affect your child's overall attendance percentage. Information about Covid related illnesses and absences has been issued separately.
Ongoing poor attendance (below 90%) is classed as persistent absenteeism. This can lead to an Attendance Meeting at school or over the phone and a referral to the Education Welfare Officer. The aim of these meetings is to give school and parents/carers the chance to sit together and look at reasons for absence, the impact this is having, and then discuss ways to improve the situation.
In line with Government and Local Education Authority policy, any holidays taken in school time have to be recorded as an unauthorised absence. Our school is accountable to the DfE and our local authority for attendance.
Holidays in term-time are the main reason for lower attendance, and we follow guidance for 'exceptional circumstances' when making a decision about what is deemed authorised or unauthorised - and our reasons are closely monitored and scrutinised . We have authorised a number of days off due to exceptional circumstances (e.g. day of wedding or funeral, etc.) but most do not fall under this category and have to be designated as unauthorised.
Impact of absences
Absences do affect how well children do in school. You may think that 90% attendance is reasonable. But if you stretch that out over a child's time in school, 90% from Reception to Y9 means that a child has missed a whole school year!
Normally, lessons in school are progressive. At the start of a new topic, children learn the first ideas and 'building blocks' which are then built on over a week or term to help each child secure their knowledge and skills. Later, more advanced lessons rely on this earlier understanding to move the children forward. Absences cause gaps in children's understanding which then have to be filled in. Essentially, they're playing catch-up. This means that a Teaching Assistant who normally works with a particular group or child may need to be reassigned so that the child who was absent can have the extra input they need to catch up. In these cases, the absence is impacting on other children's education too.
For every school, the issue of children's absences is always difficult; but please be assured that our intent here is not to upset anyone, nor to be awkward. Our intent is to keep you informed about our duty to your children as learners, yourselves as parents and also to the authorities that regulate school. We implore anyone who is struggling to get their child into school to contact their child's class teacher initially (and then Mrs Stevens if the situation doesn’t improve) to discuss the reasons and work on ways to improve attendance. T
Thank you for supporting us with attendance and punctuality.
Read our Attendance Policy here.
Leave of Absence Procedures
As detailed in our Attendance Policy, and in line with DfE guidance, we do not authorise leave of absence during term other than when exceptional circumstances permit. If you wish to take your child out of school, during term time, it is important to discuss this with us as much in advance as possible so we can guide you through the process. Please see further information below about taking holidays in term time.
Where absence is unauthorised, it could lead to further action being taken. Please also see Department for Education information regarding this is available by CLICKING HERE.