At Alexander McLeod Primary School we place a high priority on good attendance and punctuality.
Good attendance and punctuality will ensure that your child has every opportunity to achieve to the best of their ability. Every child should come to school every day. S/He should only be absent for an unavoidable reason. If a child is absent without a good reason it is against the law and parents can be prosecuted by the Royal Borough of Greenwich and may be fined.
The school has to keep a register of attendance by law and has to classify and record every half day absence as either authorised or unauthorised. The school will ask about the reason for the absence. An authorised absence is a morning or afternoon away from school for a good reason, e.g. illness or other unavoidable reason. An unauthorised absence is when the school does not consider that the reason is unavoidable and for which no permission by the school has been given. This includes keeping children off school for trivial reasons, truancy, absences that have not been properly explained and children who arrive at school too late to get the register. It also includes an appointment which could be made outside school hours (non-emergency ones), getting up late, going shopping, having a haircut etc. Even when a note is sent to school, the school still has to decide if the absence is authorised or unauthorised.
Some children need more encouragement than others to attend school regularly. It is never in your child’s best interest to cover up absences or give into pressure to excuse them from school. This makes the child think that attendance in school does not matter and may lead to more problems later. If there are any difficulties parents are encouraged to discuss them with the Head teacher so that we can work together to resolve the matter.
If a child, who is the subject of a child protection plan, is absent for more than two days without explanation the school has a duty of care and will follow the DFE statutory guidance.
Keeping children safe in education April 2014 by notifying the children’s social care Team as set out in the school’s Safeguarding and Child Protection policy.
If attendance problems continue and your child’s attendance falls below 90% the parent/carer will be invited to meet with our Learning Mentor in charge of attendance Mrs. Mary Bohnacker to see if she can help in attempting to resolve the issues. If they cannot be resolved through the school, then the child will be referred to the Royal Borough of Greenwich Attendance and Advisory Service. S/he will try to resolve these difficulties by working with the parent. If all attempts to improve attendance fail then these officers can use court proceedings to prosecute parents / carers or seek an education supervision order on the child.
Parents / Carers may wish to contact the Attendance Officer themselves to ask for advice. These officers are independent of the school. They can be contacted by telephoning 020 8921 8510.
If a child is unfit for school the parent should contact the school on the first day of absence, in person or by telephone, preferably by 9am. When a child returns to school s/he must bring a written note signed by a parent, for this absence. The school will not authorise an absence unless the parent has contacted the school.
All leaves of absence must be discussed with the school each time. Leave of absence may be granted in an emergency or for a medical appointment which must be on school time. Written prove should always be provided for these other reasons.
At Alexander McLeod we celebrate those children who attend school every day. Class attendance is monitored on a weekly basis. The class with the highest attendance percentage in both Key Stage 1 and 2 are rewarded with the 'Attendance of the week' certificate.
Attendance certificates are given to those children who achieve 100% attendance in a term. At the end of the academic year, all pupils with 100% attendance will receive a certificate and will also be entered into a prize draw!
Holiday authorised by the school
On 1 September 2013, the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 came into force, changing the rules about term-time leave of absence.
Headteachers may not grant leave of absence during term-time unless they consider the circumstances to be "exceptional". If leave is approved, the Headteacher should determine the number of days a child can be away from school. This leave is unlikely, however, to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday. If there is a long leave of absence the school cannot guarantee that the child will remain on the school register.
Children must attend on time to be given a mark for each half day session. Parents should ensure that children are in the playground ready to line up when the bell goes at 8.50am. The Learning Mentors Mrs. Mary Bohnacker and Mrs. Jan Blackman will be on the infants’ and Juniors’ gates in the morning monitoring lateness. Any child arriving after 9 am will be counted as a late on the register, more than 30 minutes after the start of the session without a good reason may be counted as an unauthorised absence.
If a child is late they may miss the start of a lesson and often find it difficult to complete the learning for that session. Late arrivals also disrupt the learning of the whole class.
Reporting on Attendance and Absence
The school has a legal duty to report its absence figures to the Department of Education each year, to publish its absence figures to parent/carers and to promote good attendance. Parents/Carers will receive attendance information on their child’s report. They may also receive information if the child’s attendance is a cause for concern.
This policy follows recent DfE guidance and advice.
The school asks parents to give their child the best start in life by making sure that s/he attends regularly and is on time.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the safeguarding and Child protection policy.
Revised date: April 2014
Review due: April 2016