Inspiring all, to achieve in learning for life
Policy for Attendance and Registration Spring 2015 Review date: Spring 2017
NB: Where the word parent is used in relation to a pupil at this school, this also includes any person who is not the parent but has parental responsibility for the child, or who cares for the child.
Introduction The teaching and support staff, together with the Governors, are committed to ensuring that all children make the most of the educational opportunities at this school. A good education helps to give children the best possible start in life. Regular school attendance and punctuality is important for all children whatever their age and is essential for every child’s academic, social and personal development. Evidence suggests that children out of school are at risk of becoming victims of crime or abuse and are more likely drawn into anti-social or criminal behaviour. School is the best place for children to be. Children who do not attend school regularly miss out on both education and social skills development, making it harder to succeed and difficult to form good friendships. The aim of the school is that all pupils achieve the highest possible attendance for them. We are committed to working with parents to achieve this by seeking to overcome any issues or problems that are causing unacceptable levels of absence. We will provide teaching and learning environments that are welcoming, safe and stimulating; where pupils are respected and valued as individuals, encouraged to attend and therefore able to succeed. Attendance = Attainment + Progress
Legal Requirements All parents of children of compulsory school age are required to ensure that they receive full-time education, under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996 and Section 36 of the Children Act 1989. Parents may commit an offence if they fail to ensure regular attendance. In cases of unauthorised absence from school, Section 23 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 (the 2003 Act) provides for the issue of Penalty Notices to parents. It is the responsibility of the school to support attendance and to take seriously problems that may lead to non-attendance. Individual absences will be carefully monitored and investigated. Pupils and parents should be left in no doubt that unjustified absences will not be tolerated and the school will refer parents to its Education Welfare Officer. Parents should ensure that their children arrive in school on time, properly attired and in a condition to learn. They need to see themselves as partners with the school in the education of their children. This means instilling, in their children a respect for education – and for those who deliver it – and ensuring that pupils complete homework on time. Parents should also impress upon their children the need to observe the school’s code of conduct and reinforce this through discipline in the home.
Reporting Absences “It is the parents’ responsibility to inform schools of the reason for a child’s absence as soon as possible – parental contact on the first day of absence should be the normal expectation – and to provide such further information as may be required.” Extracted from School Attendance – a DfE publication On the first day of absence a parent must telephone the school before 9.30am and supply a reason for their child’s non-attendance and thereafter make daily calls to school with an update (unless a medical professional has supplied written confirmation of expected return date). Medical evidence must be provided for absences of more than three consecutive days. If no reason for absence is supplied, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.
Recording Attendance Levels of absence are monitored by the Pupil and Family Support Worker (P & FSW). Each morning a text message is sent to parents of an absent child where no reason for non-attendance has been received. Parents are expected to respond urgently to this text message. If no response is received the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. Reasons for absence are recorded directly onto the computer system or noted on the computerised absence sheet, using the appropriate code. (Copy in appendix) Letters relating to the reasons for an absence must be filed in the absence folder, keeping them in chronological order. These letters are important as they may be required if a case of persistent non attendance goes to court. The P & FSW and the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) will meet regularly to discuss and review the attendance of children, particularly where no reason for absence is forthcoming. Patterns of non-attendance and poor punctuality will be highlighted. Parents are invited to discuss issues around attendance with the P&FSW; notes will be made of all conversations. The P&FSW will try to assist parents in overcoming barriers to good attendance and/or punctuality. The P & FSW will monitor and if attendance does not improve, the she will complete the appropriate paperwork for referral to the Education Welfare Officer. Where parents are unwilling to ensure their children’s regular attendance to school, Penalty Notices may be issued under the provisions of the 2003 Act and the Croydon Penalty Notice Code of Conduct (September 2014).
A Penalty Notice may be issued where: a) b) c) d) or and
The pupil is picked up during a truancy patrol. Unauthorised leave of absence is taken during term time. The pupil arrives late in school (after the register is closed) more than 5 times in any 6 week period. Parenting Orders or Contracts have not been complied with or have been ineffective or parents have refused to enter into a contract concerning their child’s attendance. The pupil has 5 or more sessions of unauthorised absence in the previous 6 weeks. (60 sessions) A written Warning Notice has been sent to the parent advising them of the possibility of a Penalty Notice being issued.
Only one Penalty Notice per child will be issued in any academic year. Subsequent action will be referred to Court proceedings under the Education Act 1996, should the attendance not improve.
Registration and Time Keeping The school uses computer generated registers. These must be completed in pencil. Water based ink will not be read by the optical mark reader (OMR). “Computerised registers must be bound into annual volumes. kept safely for three years.” (Head’s Legal Guide)
Registers must be
Parents should aim to bring their child/ren to school by 8.45 am. This allows pupils sufficient time to collect their ‘in it to win it’ ticket, read the notice board and meet their friends in the playground prior to the whistle at 8.55 am. The register will be taken as close to 8.55 am as possible. Registers should then be sent to the main office (morning), no later than 9.15 am. A pupil arriving after the register has been completed and before 9.30am is marked late/present [-][-]. Pupils arriving after 9.30am are marked absent [U][-] for the morning session, as the register is deemed to be closed for that session at 9.30am. Registers should also be taken as soon as possible for the afternoon session and returned immediately to the register trays. Registers are deemed to be closed for the afternoon session at 1 o’clock for EYFS / Key Stage 1 and at 1:20 pm for Key Stage 2. All external doors are locked at 8.55am. Children entering the building after this time should use the main entrance, reporting to the main office where they are signed in by a member of the admin staff, supplying a reason for their lateness and collecting a red late slip; before proceeding through the school. At break the child is responsible for returning the red late slip to the office. The late slip provides a visual prompt to the Class Teacher that the child has reported to the office.
Lateness contributes to disruption of the class as well as having a negative effect on the individual pupil and results in a poor start to the school day. When a child is arriving at school persistently late it is recognised that the cause of this is most often the adult caring for that child. School staff should be aware that such children often find this distressing and should be treated with compassion. The parents of any child who is persistently late will receive a letter generated through the office. Where lateness persists over a period of a half a term, the P & FSW and the Education Welfare Officer will arrange a meeting with the parent reminding them of their legal responsibility.
Rewards Each child is awarded an ‘In It to Win It’ ticket when they arrive on time each day, including reception, although theirs is addressed separately to years 1 to 6. Winning tickets will be drawn in Assembly on Monday morning and the children can select a prize. Points are awarded weekly to each class and the class with the best attendance percentage will be presented with an ‘Excellent Attendance’ rosette and awarded 10 points in assembly. The class with the most points at the end of the year will receive a prize. Throughout the year the children are asked to design posters promoting good attendance and punctuality and prizes are awarded. Children in nursery will receive a mini-sticker for every day they are in school and on time. 30 stickers = a book of their own to keep. (The funding for this is through a donation from an ex-pupil) Half termly attendance of 100% will be rewarded by a gold certificate. Half termly attendance of 95.01 – 99.99% will be rewarded with a blue certificate.
References: Head’s Legal Guide – May 2001 – School Attendance Here Today, Here Tomorrow – Helping schools to promote attendance DfE – School Attendance – policy and practice on categorisation of absence The Children Act 1989 Education Act 1996 The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 DfE circular 11/91 – Pupil Attendance Records Education (Penalty Notices) (England) Regulations 2007 and 2013
This policy was originally written in September 2001. Reviewed and amended: November 2003
Evaluation of this policy will be ongoing. Originally discussed by staff and presented to the Governors in January 2008.
Most recently presented to Governors – Spring 2015
Policy for Attendance and Registration
Attendance and Registration Information for Parents and Carers of children attending Gilbert Scott Primary School. Your child should come to school every day that the school is open and arrive on time. A child should only be absent if the reason is ‘unavoidable’. Allowing a child to be absent without good reason is against the law and parents can be prosecuted under the Education Act 1996, or may be issued with a Penalty Notice under the provision of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school (not the parents), as either authorised or unauthorised. This is why the school needs reasons for each absence. A Penalty Notice may be issued: a) b) c) d) or and
The pupil is picked up during a truancy patrol. Unauthorised leave of absence taken in term time. The pupil arrives late in school (after the register is closed) more than 5 times in any half term period. Parenting Orders or Contracts have not been complied with or have been ineffective or parents have refused to enter into a contract concerning their child’s attendance. The pupil has 5 or more sessions of unauthorised absence in the previous 6 weeks (60 sessions) A written Warning Notice has been sent to the parent advising them of the possibility of a Penalty Notice being issued.
Only one Penalty Notice per child will be issued in any academic year. Subsequent action will be Court proceedings should the attendance not improve. In any situation where either a school or the police are considering issuing a Penalty Notice, they will be required to consult with the Croydon Education Welfare Service to ensure that all the above requirements are complied with. Authorised absences are morning or afternoons away from school for a good reason such as: medical appointment or illness. Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no ‘leave’ has been given. This includes keeping children away from school for trivial reasons; truancy, absences which have never been properly explained and children who arrive too late at school to get their morning attendance mark (after 9.30). Children should never be kept off school for reasons such as shopping, minding the house, sickness of their siblings, to celebrate their birthday or as a treat.
Some children need encouragement to attend regularly. Any problems are best sorted out between the school, the parents and the child. It is never a good idea to cover up their absence or to give in to pressure to excuse them from school. This gives the impression that school does not matter and may make things worse. Parents are expected to contact Mrs Elizabeth Jackson, the school’s Pupil and Family Support Worker (P & FSW) on the first day of absence and to work with staff in resolving problems together. This is nearly always successful. If problems cannot be sorted out in this manner, the school may refer the child to its Education Welfare Officer (EWO). He or she will also try to resolve the difficulties by agreement, but, if other ways of trying to improve the child’s attendance have failed, the EWO may consider prosecution or seek an education supervision order on the child.
Procedures The school applies the following procedures in deciding how to deal with individual absences.
Illness If a child is unfit for school parents should contact the school on the first day of absence. Absences will not be authorised without written information from home. Absences beyond one week and before/after a holiday need to be supported by a medical evidence. If a child has been ill on more than 3 separate occasions in one academic year, the parents will be written to, advising them that evidence will be required for subsequent periods of illness. Medical appointments, ie. dentist, should be arranged outside school hours where ever possible. All medical appointments must be supported by a medical card.
Holidays The school is unable to grant any leave of absence during term time for the purpose of a holiday. However, careful consideration will be given to any written request for a leave of absence where the Head Teacher considers there are exceptional circumstances. Parents are required to write to the Head Teacher to request any leave of absence in advance.
Lateness Children must attend on time to be given a mark for a session. Parents should aim to bring their child/ren to school by 8.45 am (Nursery slightly earlier than this). Unless the lateness is unavoidable, parents are expected to ensure that children are present at registration. Arriving more than 30 minutes after the start of the session without good reason is counted as unauthorised absence.
End of school day Unless parents have contacted the school to vary this arrangement, it is expected that children are collected by their parent/carer promptly at the end of the school day.
Nursery Reception, Years 1 and 2 Years 3, 4, 5 and 6
- 11.45 am - 3.10 pm - 3.25 pm
If parents are delayed a call to the office is required so we can reassure the child. Persistent late collection will be reported to the EWO. Children left with the school after 4.30pm may be taken to Social Care.
Rewards Each child, in years 1 to 6, is awarded an ‘In It to Win It’ ticket when they arrive on time each day. Winning tickets will be drawn in assembly on Monday morning and the children can select a prize. Points are awarded weekly to each class and the class with the best attendance percentage will be presented with an ‘Excellent Attendance’ rosette and awarded 10 points in assembly. The class with the most points at the end of the year will receive a prize. Reception class has its own attendance card system, with names being drawn in Merit assembly. Throughout the year the children are asked to design posters promoting good attendance and punctuality and prizes are awarded. Children in nursery class will receive a mini-sticker for every day they are in school and on time. Half termly attendance of 100% will be rewarded by a gold certificate. Half termly attendance of 95.01 – 99,99% will be rewarded with a blue certificate. Yearly attendance of 100% will be rewarded with a special certificate (generated within the Computer suite) and the opportunity to be included in a special reward with the P & FSW.
Summary The school has a legal duty to publish its absence figures to parents and to promote attendance. You will receive information with your child’s annual report. Very good attendance is rewarded. The school has a duty to make your child’s time at school interesting and worthwhile. Parents have a duty to make sure their children attend school. The school is committed to working with parents as the best way to ensure the highest level of attendance possible.