Policy under review - new policy September 2019
Coleshill Church of England Primary School is a voluntary aided Church of England school. All staff and governors aim to make the school a place where Christian love and commitment are expressed in everyday life. We aim therefore to provide a happy, caring, safe and stimulating school where everyone is valued and there is a high level of expectation in all aspects of school life.
We are committed to providing a full and efficient educational experience for all pupils. We believe that if pupils are to benefit from education, good attendance is crucial. As a School we do all that we can to ensure maximum attendance for all pupils. Any problems that prevent full attendance will be identified and addressed.
All children will have access to a broad and balanced education which includes the Early Year Foundation Stage, the National Curriculum, ICT and RE. This will be delivered through a wide range of educational opportunities, enabling them to reach their full potential.
We recognise that parents have a vital role to play and that there is a need to establish strong home-school links and communication systems. We will encourage partnerships with parents, governors, the church and the local community.
Through these aims we hope that children will be healthy, be safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic wellbeing in later life.
If there are problems which affect a pupil’s attendance we will investigate, identify and strive in partnership with parents and pupils to resolve those problems as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Statement of Intent
Attendance is a crucial factor in raising attainment. Children can only learn effectively if they attend school regularly. It is important, too, that children arrive and leave school on time. It is equally important that children should not be at school if they are unwell.
Class teachers are responsible for completing attendance registers. All members of staff have a duty to report to the Headteacher any information which might have a bearing on children’s attendance. The need for confidentiality is accepted. The Headteacher will decide if further action is necessary. Reports of truancy will be followed up immediately.
The governing body has decided that registers should close at 9.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m. Children who arrive after that time are deemed to be late and the register marked accordingly. The school sets annual targets and reports to parents and the Department for Education on attendance.
- to make this a happy school where children feel secure and relaxed, thus facilitating learning
- to promote and reward good attendance, to meet attendance targets and to investigate cases where attendance falls below 90%
- to promote punctuality so that lessons can start promptly
- to encourage dental and doctors’ appointments to be made out of school hours where possible
We acknowledge the need to liaise with other agencies, in particular the Attendance Compliance Enforcement Service (ACE) and the Police service.
Statutory Duty of Schools
The Education Act 1996 requires parents or carers to ensure their children receive efficient full-time education, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.
Schools are responsible for recording pupil attendance twice a day; once at the start of the morning session and once during the afternoon session. An entry must be made on the attendance register for all pupils of compulsory school age who are on the school’s admission roll.
By law, all children of compulsory school age (between 5 and 16) must receive a proper full-time education. Parents are responsible for making this happen, either by registering the child at school or by making other arrangements, which provide an effective education. (The Education Act 1996 Section 7).
Parental responsibility and/or day-to-day care
Parents are responsible for ensuring their children receive education. Estranged parents with whom the child has had regular contact may be prosecuted as well as the day-to-day carer. Each situation must be dealt with on an individual basis, always remembering the welfare and safety of the child is the paramount concern.
The term ‘parent’ also includes those who are not a parent of his/her but who has parental responsibility for him/her or who has care of him/her child as defined by the Children Act 1989 and/or who have care of the child as defined by the Education Act 1996.
If a child is absent
The school encourage parents/carers to contact school on first day of absence by 9.30 am. If this is not done the school will contact parents/carers to ascertain the reason and ask when they are likely to return. It is the duty of parents/carers to secure education of compulsory school age children. (Education Act 1996)
Repeated unauthorised absence
The school will contact the parent of any child who has an unauthorised absence. If a child has a repeated number of unauthorised absences, the parent will be asked to visit the school and discuss the problem. If the situation does not improve, the school will then contact ACE, who will visit the home and seek to ensure that the parent understands the seriousness of the situation.
The governing body, supported by the LA, reserves the right to consider taking legal action against any parent who repeatedly fails to take responsibility for sending their children to school on a regular basis.
Definitions for absence
An absence is classified as authorised when a child has been away from school for a legitimate reason and the school has received notification from a parent. For example, if the child has been unwell and the parent writes a note or telephones the school to explain the absence.
Only the school can make an absence authorised. Parents do not have this authority. Consequently, not all absences supported by parents will be classified as authorised. For example, if a parent takes a child out of school to go shopping during school hours, this will not mean it is an authorised absence.
An absence is classified as unauthorised when a child is away from school without the permission of the school; therefore the absence is unauthorised if a child is away from school without good reason.
An absence is classified as unauthorised if a child arrives late after the register has closed without permission from an authorised absence (there is a 30 minute period from the start of registration to formal closure).
We will also contact parents as soon as there is concern about a child’s lateness, early arrival or late collection. Good punctuality is a life skill that pupils need to learn in order to function in later life. Poor timekeeping can lead to distress in younger pupils and is a barrier to them settling into the school day. It can also lead to disruption to the education of other pupils and is viewed as a very serious matter.
Attendance Compliance Enforcement Service (ACE)
The school has a ‘named’ Education Casework Officer. He/She meets with the Headteacher on a regular basis to discuss attendance. This could/may lead to legal proceedings by the local authority.
Rewards for good attendance
Each half term children receive an attendance certificate for full attendance. Children who have 100% attendance in any one term receive an “excellent” certificate for attendance awarded by the Headteacher. Half termly certificates are presented to children in celebration assembly. There are special certificates for any children who have achieved 100% attendance for a whole year. These are presented at the end of the academic year.
Reintegrating long term absentees
Absence can significantly interrupt the continuity of pupils learning, and positive strategies should be employed to minimise such effects.
Requests for special leave of absence
The Government have issued new regulations in September 2013 regarding Leave of Absence; The Education (Pupil Regulations) (England) Regulations 2006 as amended by Education (Pupil Regulations) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013.
- Headteachers shall not grant any Leave of Absence during term time unless they consider there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application.
- Parents do not have any entitlement to take their children on holiday during term time. Any application for leave must establish that there are exceptional circumstances and the Headteacher must be satisfied that the circumstances warrant the granting of leave.
- Headteachers will determine how many school days a child may be absent from school if the leave is granted.
- Applications for Leave of Absence must be made in advance and failure to do so will result in the absence being unauthorised.
- Applications for Leave of Absence which are made in advance and refused will result in the absence being unauthorised which may result in legal action against the parent, by Fixed Penalty Notice, if the child is absent from school during that period.
- If a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued and is not paid within the timeframe set out in that Notice, the matter will be referred to Warwickshire County Council’s Legal Services to consider instigating criminal prosecution proceedings under S444 of Education Act 1996.
Each application for a Leave of Absence will be considered on a case by case basis and on its own merits.
Under the Education [School Attendance Targets] [England] Regulations 2007, the governing body is required to set overall attendance targets. These are agreed by the Headteacher and the governors.
Relationship to other policies
The attendance policy should be read in conjunction with the policies on admissions, PSHE, school session times, inclusion, and current guidance for staff on the registration of pupils. The home-school agreement is also pertinent.
Monitoring and review
It is the responsibility of the governors to monitor overall attendance, and they will request an annual report from the Headteacher. The governing body also has the responsibility for this policy, and for seeing that it is carried out. The governors will therefore examine closely the information provided for them, and seek to ensure that our attendance figures are as high as they should be.
The school will keep accurate attendance records on file for a minimum period of three years.
The rates of attendance will be reported in the school prospectus, and in the annual school profile.
This policy will be reviewed annually by the Governors and Headteacher in the Autumn Term.