Attendance and Absence
Information for parents.
The 2023-24 academic year
Whilst we understand families will be looking forward to travel and holidays abroad again, after the past couple of years' disruption, but we want to set expectations now: as a school we will NOT be authorising holidays during this academic year (2023-24).
Every day in school counts and we will be monitoring attendance and lateness on a daily basis.
Reporing an absence
If your child is going to be absent from school, we expect you (the parent/carer) to do the following:
Call the school office before 9.00am to explain absence each day your child is off school - this is for safeguarding reasons.
Ensure you provide a written letter of explanation when your child returns to school, in addition to the phone calls, so we can maintain accurate records.
If your child’s absence is longer than three days we would expect medical advice to be sought.
If parents/carers have not contacted school, they will receive a message asking them why the child is not at school. Unexplained absences may also be followed up by a home visit or a letter. If the reason for the absence is not explained then the absence will be marked as unauthorised.
When to contact us
Please do contact us if you are having any difficulties or face challenges we may not be aware of, before it becomes a problem that we need to raise with you.
Withdrawal from learning requests
In line with the Department for Education (DfE), we will not authorise pupil absence for withdrawal from learning during term time unless there are unusual and compelling circumstances. This applies to absences of any length.
The withdrawal from learning request process is as follows:
All withdrawal from learning requests should be made to the Headteacher by completing a form which is available from the school office, and below.
The Headteacher will speak to you (the parent/carer) regarding your request
It is possible that unauthorised absence will trigger involvement from the Local Authority Attendance Team and you could be liable for a fine.
The school scrutinises registers regularly to identify any patterns of absence/poor punctuality and these are discussed with the Headteacher to see there is anything the school can do to assist. In cases where attendance and punctuality do not improve, further support will be sought from the Local Authority Attendance Team.
Your assistance in setting good attendance patterns early is much appreciated and it will help your child later on in their education.
Local Authority information and guidance about attendance can be found on the WSCC School absences page.
Every effort should be made to arrange medical appointments outside school hours. If it is necessary for a child to be out of school for this reason, the child should be returned to school directly after the appointment. Proof of the appointment should be shown to the school office.
Parents/carers must inform the school of any planned absences in advance using the absence request form. Copies of these will be kept with the child's records.
Holidays during term time
Parents should be aware that taking holidays in term time are not an entitlement and are strongly discouraged by the Government, Local Authority and the school. The Headteacher can only authorise absences for exceptional circumstances - and this will be rare.
Why attendance matters
Attendance is important to us - and will continue to be so - not because of any targets we, or others, set for us but because when your child is not in school, they are missing their education. In addition, the children have missed so much time in school over recent years, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Attendance and punctuality are an important part of good behaviour and such an important life skill. It is an essential requirement in any job and habits formed early become embedded.
Pupils who miss valuable time in classrooms fall further behind and become more disengaged from the work of the class. It is hard to regain this ground and hard to motivate pupils when attendance drops.