We believe that regular school attendance is important to all children if they are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. Irregular attendance undermines the educational process and leads to educational disadvantage. It may also place children at risk.
We actively pursue the goal of regular attendance by investigating all absences, and by positively encouraging parents to understand the importance of regular attendance and urging families to take holidays concurrently with school holidays.
All members of staff are concerned for the children’s welfare and well-being and everyone plays a part in promoting regular attendance among the pupils.
- To foster a climate where regular attendance and punctuality are valued by the school community – teachers, parents and pupils
- To provide a framework with agreed roles and responsibilities
- To provide support and guidance for parents and pupils
- To develop positive and consistent communication between home and school, including set procedures for attendance information
- To develop a systematic approach for gathering and analysing data
- To improve the overall attendance of pupils at school and reduce unauthorised absence
- To promote effective partnership with the Education Welfare Service and other agencies
- To involve the children in their school attendance
- To improve communication with parents/carers about regular school attendance
- To engage all school staff in taking responsibility for children’s attendance
- To recognise the important role of class teachers and support staff in promoting and monitoring good attendance
- To ensure time and organisation within the school to enable the aims and objectives to be met
- To maintain an effective working relationship with the Education Welfare Service and regular reporting of data to the service
Under Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 parents of children of compulsory school age are required to ensure the children receive efficient full-time education suitable to the child’s age, aptitude, ability and any Special Educational Needs. Parents are therefore primarily responsible for ensuring that children attend school. In school we encourage parents to take a responsible attitude towards attendance and punctuality so that children can achieve their potential. The school’s responsibility to support parents and tackle any problems that may lead to non-attendance is taken seriously.
Parental responsibility also extends to ensuring that children arrive at school in time, in appropriate dress and ready to learn.
The importance of the school and parents working together in partnership together cannot be underestimated. Open discussion and liaison about attendance and punctuality issues is crucial.
Pupils are expected to attend Tilston Primary School for the full 190 days of the academic year, unless there is a good and approved reason for absence.
Registers provide the daily record of attendance of all pupils. It is the responsibility of the class teacher to mark the register at the beginning of each session at 8.55 am and 1.00 pm. Any regular, frequent or unexplained absences are reported to the Headteacher who follows up the matter with parents. The register is not closed until 30 minutes after the beginning of the school session in special circumstances eg. adverse weather conditions.
Changes have been made to the Attendance Policy due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Safety measures implemented, in line with the Department of Education, include staggered starts to the school day. We operate two starts, A-J 8:40-8:50am and K-Z 8:55-9:05am, to reduce the number of children and adults on the school premises. Registers close at 9:15am.
The School Bursar is responsible for collating Attendance Records in school and notifies the Headteacher if there is any reason for concern. At the end of the year, each child’s attendance is analysed and a copy is given to parents with their child’s annual report. The Headteacher’s termly Report to Governors records the school attendance figures.
The school may be informed of reasons for absence by personal contact with the parents by telephone or by letter. Letters are stored inside the cover of the register and then in a file.
Reasons for absence are then recorded in the register using the appropriate national codes as specified in the ‘School Attendance: Departmental advice for maintained schools, academies, independent schools and local authorities’ (Department for Education, November 2013). The national codes enable schools to record and monitor attendance and absence in a consistent way which complies with the regulations.
Registration Code / : Present in school / = am = pm
L: Late arrival before the register has closed
B: Off-site educational activity
D: Dual Registered - at another educational establishment
J: At an interview with prospective employers/another educational establishment
P: Participating in a supervised sporting activity
V: Educational visit or trip
W: Work experience
C: Leave of absence authorised by the school
Only exceptional circumstances warrant an authorised leave of absence. Schools should consider each request individually taking into account the circumstances, such as: the nature of the event for which leave is sought; the frequency of the request; whether the parent gave advance notice; and the pupil’s attainment, attendance and ability to catch up on missed schooling.
E: Excluded but no alternative provision made
H: Holiday authorised by the school
Head teachers should not grant leave of absence unless in exceptional circumstances. The application must be made in advance and the head teacher must be satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances which warrant the leave. Where a leave of absence is granted, the head teacher will determine the number of days a pupil can be away from school. A leave of absence is granted entirely at the head teacher’s discretion.
I: Illness (not medical or dental appointments)
M: Medical or dental appointments
R: Religious observance
S: Study leave
T: Gypsy, Roma and Traveller absence
G: Holiday not authorised by the school or in excess of the period determined by the head teacher.
N: Reason for absence not yet provided
Schools should follow up all unexplained and unexpected absences in a timely manner. Every effort should be made to establish the reason for a pupil’s absence. When the reason for the pupil’s absence has been established the register should be amended. This code should not be left on a pupil’s attendance record indefinitely; if no reason for absence is provided after a reasonable amount of time it should be replaced with code O (absent from school without authorisation).
O: Absent from school without authorisation
If the school is not satisfied with the reason given for absence they should record it as unauthorised.
U: Arrived in school after registration closed
Schools should actively discourage late arrival, be alert to patterns of late arrival and seek an explanation from the parent.
X: Not required to be in school
Y: Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances
Z: Pupil not on admission register
#: Planned whole or partial school closure
This code should be used for whole or partial school closures that are known or planned in advance such as: between terms; half terms; occasional days (for example, bank holidays); weekends (where it is required by the management information system); up to five non-educational days to be used for curriculum planning/training; and use of schools as polling stations.
In categorising absence, the Headteacher will follow the guidance given in ‘School Attendance: Departmental advice for maintained schools, academies, independent schools and local authorities’ (Department for Education, November 2013).
A copy of our Attendance Policy is on the school website.
The importance of regular attendance is discussed and explained at the Induction Meeting held each year for children about to enter Reception Class. It is stressed that parents and children should arrive at school on time, so that each child can be given the best possible start to the school day.
Parents are required to inform the school by 9.30 am if their child is not attending school that day. If any child does not arrive at school, attempts will be made to contact the parents or other emergency contacts.
Unauthorised Absence-Fixed Penalty Notices
Parents/carers should be aware that Tilston Primary School may contact the Local Authority if a pupil has 10 or more unauthorised absences in one term, with a view to issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice. The Penalty Notice is issued individually to each parent/ carer who fail to ensure their children’s regular attendance in school. The penalty is £60 per parent/ carer, per child if paid within 21 days rising to £120 if paid within 28 days. Non-payment of a Fixed Penalty Notice may result in prosecution in the Magistrates Court. If proved guilty, the parents/ carers will receive a criminal record.
Leave of Absence
Parents are requested to arrange their family holidays within the school holidays, rather than in term time. In line with amendments made in the Education Regulations 2013, Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless they are exceptional circumstances.
Any parents/ carer wishing to request leave of absence for their son/daughter should complete a request for absence form, available from the School Office. Completed forms should be sent for consideration to the Headteacher ahead of any request. All requests will be responded to within 7 days.
It should be noted that if any application is declined and a consecutive five or more unauthorised day’s absence occurs, the Tilston Primary may apply for a Fixed Penalty Notice. The Penalty Notice is issued individually to each parent/ carer who fail to ensure their children’s regular attendance in school. The penalty is £60 per parent/ carer, per child if paid within 21 days rising to £120 if paid within 28 days. Non-payment of a Fixed Penalty Notice may result in prosecution in the Magistrates Court. If proved guilty, the parents/ carers will receive a criminal record.
School begins at 8.55 am and all pupils are expected to be in school for registration at this time. All pupils who are late must report to the office. Where persistent lateness gives cause for concern, the Headteacher will send out a letter inviting parents to meet. The aim of the meeting will be to discuss the reasons for lateness and improve punctuality.
Lateness= Lost Learning
Over the whole school year this means
5 minutes late each day
3.25 days lost
10 minutes late each day
6.5 days lost
15 minutes late each day
10 days lost
20 minutes late each day
13 days lost
25 minutes late each day
19.5 days lost
The Attendance Records that are kept on the school system are examined regularly. If there is a frequent pattern of absence, the Headteacher will telephone the parents to ascertain the reason for persistent absence. If there are concerns about a child’s non-attendance or lateness, the class teacher consults the Headteacher immediately. Details of attendance or late percentage are extracted from the computer database. The Headteacher may show this to the parents during an informal discussion.
Tilston Primary work closely with the CWAC Education Welfare Service (EWO) in an effort to improve attendance without the need for legal intervention.
School Procedures for challenging absence
- Every month, Mrs Farmer will produce a report for individual pupil attendance and any pupil falling below 93% will be highlighted.
- Halfway through each term, the Headteacher will send Letter 1 to parents/ carers where a pupil’s attendance falls below 93%.
- Where a letter has been sent out, that pupil will be monitored for the next 5 weeks.
- Where there is not an improvement in attendance, Letter 2 will be sent to parents, inviting them into school for a meeting to discuss future attendance targets.
- An Attendance Improvement Plan will be set up during the meeting with parents and specific targets set. See Appendix A
Promoting Attendance and Punctuality
This system is designed to reward good attendance and punctuality, and offer support to those families who may need help with these issues.
A range of different strategies will be used to promote attendance and punctuality. These may include:
- All pupils with 100% attendance and punctuality at the end of the year will be rewarded with an Attendance Certificate and celebrated in whole school assembly.
- The Headteacher regularly reminds parents on newsletters about the importance of good attendance.
The latest DFE Attendance in Schools Guidance (March 2022)