Attendance Procedures

Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow.

Attendance Matters

Statistics show a direct link between poor attendance and under-achievement.

Regular attenders;

  • make better progress, both socially and academically,
  • find school routines, school work and friendships easier to cope with,
  • find learning more satisfying and settle into high school more easily.
  • Encourages responsible learning habits and prepares children for higher education and for their working life.

Absence for whatever reason disadvantages a child by creating gaps in his/her learning.  A good understanding of the work and good progress can only take place when the child is in the classroom regularly and on time.

Lady Margaret School has an attendance target of 96.1%. Each week the attendance for each class will be published in the newsletter. Children who have 100% attendance for the whole school year will be presented with a certificate to celebrate their achievement.

School registers are checked regularly by the headteacher, deputy headteacher and the class teachers, and poor attendance is followed up.  Each half term we are visited by an educational social worker from the Local Authority. They will review the attendance of all the children and may call a meeting with families where the absence rate is poor or where children have incomplete weeks of schooling.  The following process is followed where there are concerns.

Stage 1 – As soon as a child’s attendance falls below 96% a reminder letter is sent to the parent advising them that their child’s attendance must improve and that their attendance will be closely monitored.

Stage 2– Where a child’s attendance falls below 90%, the parent will be invited to attend a meeting with the pastoral assistant headteacher who will set a target for improvement. At this stage the parents will be advised that they may be referred to the education social work service if targets aren’t met.

90% attendance during 1 school year = ½ day missed every week!
90% attendance during 1 school year = 1 day missed every other week!
90% attendance during 1 school year 4 whole weeks of lessons missed!
90% attendance over 5 years of school = ½ a school year missed!

Stage 3 – Where a child’s attendance fails to improve, the parent will be invited to attend a meeting with the headteacher who will set a target for improvement. At this stage the parents will be advised that they will be referred to the education social work service if targets aren’t met.
Stage 4 – Where a child’s attendance target is not met the parents/carers will be referred to the local authority’s education social work service.

We expect parents to contact the school office by telephone every day that a child is away. There is a special line where you can leave messages about attendance and the messages will be picked up regularly.

Unauthorised Absence

There is no entitlement to time off during term time. If children are absent for reasons, which are not permitted by law, or where the explanation or reason for the absence is considered unsatisfactory absence will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’. Examples of unauthorised absence are:

  • Term-time holidays.
  • Absence following or prior to a school closure or authorised leave (this will be coded as an unauthorised holiday until satisfactory medical evidence has been provided).
  • Waiting for a delivery or repair
  • Taking or collecting a relative to/from the airport
  • Going for a family day out
  • Sleeping in after a late night
  • Going shopping or for a hair cut
  • Because it is a child’s birthday
  • Parent/carer’s illness (other than in an emergency)
  • Frequent unsubstantiated claims of illness
  • Where there is no explanation for an absence or the school considers the reason given for the absence as unsatisfactory.

If a child goes abroad during a school holiday period, the parent must make definite arrangements so that they return in good time for school re-opening. Absence claimed for unexpected delays will require documentary evidence together with proof of original return dates. For example where illness prevents travel a doctor’s certificates must be provided (these should be in English) and must be accompanied by a travel ticket with dates that would have indicated a timely return.

If a child remains abroad at the beginning of a school term and absence extended parents will be advised that their child’s school place may be at risk.

It is an offence under section 444 of the education act 1996. If a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, his parent is guilty of an offence.”   If you take your child out of school without authorisation the school has the power to issue Fixed-Penalty Notices of £60, rising to £120 if not paid within 28 days and it should be noted that penalties may be issued to each parent for each child. 

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