,
Message sent from:

Attendance at school

going to school quote(1)
did you know

Every Day Counts!

Children need to attend regularly to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. Research shows that attendance and punctuality are improtant factors in school success.

be here

Parents can support regular school attendance by:

  • Making sure their child leaves for school early enough to arrive at school on time;
  • Supporting and encouraging their child by attending parent’s evenings and other events;
  • Contacting the school to discuss any concerns regarding their child’s  attendance;
  • Working in partnership with the school to resolve any issues that are impacting on their child’s attendance;
  • Making any medical appointments outside of school hours whenever possible;
  • Not taking children out of school for holidays in term time or for other unnecessary reasons.

Persistent absence and unauthorised absence

We take a proactive approach to improving the attendance of individual children whose attendance falls below 95%. Children who have less than 90% attendance are classed by the Department for Education as being persistently absent.  We will communicate concerns about poor attendance to parents and use an escalating approach including letters, meetings in school and/or a referral to the Attendance Team at Warrington Borough Council, in order to support parents in improving attendance.

attendance image

Beamont Primary School Attendance Policy

Introduction

We aim to ensure that all children attend school regularly and on time to enable them to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available. Regular, punctual attendance is valued and positively encouraged for all of our pupils.  Our pupils get one chance for a successful education – every moment of every day counts.

It is a parent’s duty, under Section 7 of the Education Act 1996, to ensure their child of ‘compulsory school age to receive an efficient, full time education’.  A child is of compulsory school age from age five, when a child should attend school from the start of the term commencing on or after his/ her fifth birthday.  A child is of compulsory school age throughout the primary school years.  We encourage good attendance from the start of a child’s time in school in Nursery.

‘Central to raising standards in education and ensuring all pupils can fulfil their potential is an assumption so widely understood that it is insufficiently stated – pupils need to attend school regularly to benefit from their education.  Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind.  Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.

The government expects:

  • Schools and local authorities to:
    • Promote good attendance and reduce absence, including persistent absence;
    • Ensure every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled; and,
    • Act early to address patterns of absence.
  • Parents to perform their legal duty by ensuring their children of compulsory school age who are registered at school attend regularly.
  • All pupils to be punctual to their lessons.’

School Attendance, Department for Education, November 2016

Aims

  •   To improve the overall attendance of children at school.
  •   To improve children’s attainment through good attendance.
  •   To encourage parents to ensure that children arrive at school on time.
  •   To make attendance a priority for all those associated with the school, including parents, pupils, teachers and governors.

To achieve these aims for our pupils, we are committed to the following:

  • a welcoming, stimulating and safe learning environment; 
  • for all staff to feel happy to come to school to work with pupils, developing them to their full potential; 
  • high expectations of our pupils and all staff; 
  • a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum; 
  • recognise and celebrate achievements in all areas of school life; 
  • equal access to all aspects of the curriculum and school life;
  • high quality teaching using a variety of teaching strategies; 
  • a range of resources that are effectively used to support and challenge learning;
  • provide experiences, which will develop our pupils’ spiritual, moral and cultural understanding; 
  • support, guidance and training for all those who teach and work with our children;
  • foster and maintain links with our wider community

Legislative Framework

Parents of registered pupils have a legal duty under the Education Act 1996 (sec 444) to ensure that children of compulsory school age attend school on a regular and full-time basis.  Permitting unauthorised absence from school is an offence and parents may be reported to the Education Authority if problems cannot be resolved by agreement.

All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full time education that is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have.  Local authorities have a duty to establish, as far as it is possible to do so, the identity of children of compulsory school age who are missing education in their area.

Expected Levels of Attendance

Attending school regularly and on time has a positive impact on learning, progress and therefore the best life chances for pupils.   Research shows that attendance and punctuality are important factors in school success. 

At Beamont School we expect all children to achieve attendance that is at least 96%.

attendance chart(1)

Attendance Partnership Expectations 

We expect the following from all of our pupils: 

  • To attend school regularly; 
  • To arrive on time and appropriately prepared for the day, having eaten breakfast or attend breakfast club; 
  • To tell a member of staff about any problem or reason that may prevent them from attending school. 

We expect the following from parents and carers:   

  • To ensure their children attend school regularly and punctually; 
  • To ensure contact is made with school, as soon as is reasonably practical, whenever their child is unable to attend;
  • To ensure that their children arrive in school well prepared for the school day, having eaten breakfast;
  • To ensure appointments are made outside of the school day, but when they have to be during the school day, to bring the pupil to school before and after their appointment;
  • To promote a good attitude to learning by ensuring their child attends school in the correct uniform, with the required equipment;
  • To work in partnership with the school and other agencies in their best interests of their child; this includes informing the school about significant changes in their child’s life, which may impact on learning.

Parents and pupils can expect the following from school: 

  • Early contact with parents or carers when a pupil fails to attend school without providing good reason;
  • Regular, efficient and accurate recording of attendance;
  • Follow up support if needed, including referrals to outside agencies.

Roles and Responsibilities for attendance

  • Beamont C P School has a named senior member of staff with responsibility for attendance issues. 
  • Members of school staff, both teaching and non-teaching, have responsibility for attendance issues in school.
  • Attendance matters are regularly reviewed by the head and members of the senior leadership team.
  • Attendance issues are reported, on a minimum termly basis, to the Governing Body.
  • We work closely with the Attendance Service from Warrington Borough Council to support the school with the processes associated with children’s attendance at school.   The Attendance Service provides the legal monitoring services and support that will help reduce the number of persistent absent pupils and improve whole school attendance.   Additionally we employ the services of CSAWS (Central School Attendance and Welfare Service Ltd) to support us.
  • We believe that through attending school every day and on time children and young people will get the best possible start in life.  

 

Services to support regular attendance

A number of support networks exist to support parents/ carers to improve children’s attendance.  If a parent/ carer is having difficulty maintaining high attendance for their child, in the first instance, they should come to school and speak to their child’s class teacher, a member of the Senior Leadership Team, or one of our Children’s Champions.

Our Children’s Champions will offer support to families and may involve other services as appropriate, including:

  • Attendance Officer at Warrington Borough Council
  • School Health Adviser
  • Educational Psychology Service
  • CAMHS
  • Early Help/ Family Outreach/ Families First
  • Children’s Social Care

Attendance Meetings:

Parents/ carers of children with attendance which falls below 92% will be regularly notified that attendance is a concern.  They may be invited in to meet with either the child’s class teacher or a member of the SLT – this will be determined by the school’s lead for Attendance.  Any absence below 90% will automatically lead to a meeting in school with a member of the SLT as they try to support the family to fulfil their legal requirements in ensuring the child accesses school regularly.

Attendance meetings will be planned around the child.  For all children, the emphasis will be on increasing attendance.  For some, there may be a greater focus on removing any barriers to good attendance and may involve the child to ensure the focus is child-centred.  This will be determined by the school’s lead for Attendance.  The Attendance Governor may be asked to lead and chair some attendance meetings, if available, for pupils at risk of becoming persistent absentees, or for groups of pupils who are the focus for increasing attendance (see annual plan).

Referral to the Attendance Service:

The Attendance Officer at Warrington Borough Council will monitor persistent absence and lateness at least every half term. This may involve:

  • Letters parents/carers to remind them of the need for children to attend and point out their current rate of attendance (including copy of registration certificate).
  • Informal meetings with parents/carers and, if age appropriate, with the child to challenge attendance levels and agree targets for improvement.
  • Home visits.
  • Where the child’s absence meets the ‘Persistent Absence’ criteria and after the Attendance Officer has attempted to work with the family and the school to resolve the attendance problems, the case may be considered for prosecution.
  • Warrington Borough Council operates a ‘Fast-Track’ prosecution process. The process involves the school, parents and the Attendance Officer setting time limited targets for the improvement of individual pupils’ attendance. If agreed targets are not met within a 9 week time frame, the Local Authority may take legal action through the Magistrates Court under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996. Those found guilty of this offence may be fined up to £1,000.

Procedures

We will follow the following process for rewarding attendance and addressing attendance concerns of all pupils.

attendance 2(1)

Where attendance has deteriorated rapidly, there are concerning patterns of absence, a number of unauthorised absences, or parents have not responded to concerns raised a referral may be made straight to the Attendance Service at WBC.  Referrals will be made to consider the need to issue penalty notices where pupils have 10 or more unauthorised absences.

Promoting positive attendance

Beamont C P will promote good attendance and punctuality and keep both a high profile across the school.  We will employ a range of strategies to do this, including, but not limited to:

  • Class attendance boards at the classroom door – children move their photograph up the boards each day that they are in school;
  • 100% raffle – children attending for a full week will be given a raffle ticket to enter the half-term prize draw;
  • 100% attendance stars – awarded to children with full attendance each term (bronze, silver, gold available across the three terms of the year);
  • 100% attendance reward event – children with full attendance each term invited to stay after school for a cinema night or phase disco;
  • 100% attendance annual event – planned event for September for the children who attend school every day all year;
  • Attendance certificates – awarded regularly;
  • ‘Spot On’ week – treats prepared by school kitchen given to all children who attend on time every day for the week;
  • Weekly newsletter – class attendance data shared with parents/ carers weekly;
  • Celebration assembly – every Friday afternoon, best attending class for EYFS/KS1 and KS2 receive the attendance trophy and their class teacher arranges additional playtime for all children in the class the following week
  • School attendance board is displayed near to the main office;
  • School staff are expected to promote good attendance and punctuality with their classes regularly and should be excellent role models in this. 
  • Parent/ Carer consultation meetings – information will be shared regularly with parents/ carers about attendance and punctuality.

Additionally, individual responses to promote attendance and punctuality include letters/ notes, phone calls from teacher/ SLT, meetings to praise efforts, etc.

Absence

If a child is absent from school, parents/carers should contact the school on the first day of absence to inform the school of the reason for absence.  Parents/carers are expected to maintain contact with the school throughout the absence, at least daily.

At 9.30am school registers are checked for any absences where there has been no contact by parents and reason given.

School staff will send a text message to the first contact for the child to enquire as to reason for absence.

If staff have reason to be concerned about a child’s absence or there is no response to text messages, they will follow the process in detailed in Appendix 1.  This includes telephone calls to parents, other emergency contacts, home visits, referrals to the WBC Attendance Service and to the police for a safe and well check.

It is imperative that up-to-date contact numbers and details are provided to school.

Illness:

Not all illness requires an absence from school.  For minor childhood ailments such as coughs, colds, ear aches we would not expect children to be absent.  However, when a parent/ carer makes the assessment that their chid is unfit for school they should follow the above absence process.

It is a school’s decision whether to accept a reason for a child’s absence and whether to authorise that absence.  In the majority of cases, a parent’s/ carer’s explanation of their child’s illness can be accepted without question or concern.  In circumstances where there are concerns about a child’s attendance or reason for absence, further evidence of a child’s illness may be requested

School will challenge parents’/ carers’ statements or seek additional evidence if they have any concerns regarding a child’s attendance. 

In fact, it is good practice to have clear systems in place to escalate any concerns about high levels of absence due to illness, including agreements about accessing additional services in order to provide appropriate support to pupils, particularly for long term illness.

The types of scenarios when medical evidence may be requested include:

  • Attendance is less than 92%;
  • There are frequent odd days absences due to reported illness;
  • The same reasons for absence are frequently repeated;
  • Where there is a particular medical problems and school may need evidence to seek additional support/provide support.

Medical appointments :

Parents/ carers should avoid making routine medical appointments and dental appointments during the school day.  In the majority of cases, appointments can be made outside of the school day/during the school holidays.  

Where appointments have to be taken during the school day, only the time for the appointment and travel to and from will be classed as an authorised absence.  Pupils are expected to return to school for the remainder of the day/attend school prior to the appointment.

Parents/ carers are asked to provide proof of appointment to the office.

Other reasons for absences: 

Other reasons for absence must be discussed with the school on each occasion.  Notes will not necessarily be accepted as providing valid reasons.  The school will follow DFE guidance when considering requests for absence.  We will not authorise absences for shopping, birthdays or child minding.

Requests for Leave of Absence (exceptional circumstances):

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 have amended Regulation 7 of the 2006 Regulations to prohibit the proprietor of a maintained school granting leave of absence to a pupil except where an application has been made in advance and the proprietor considers that there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application.

Procedure for requesting a planned absence:

  • All leave of absence requests will be unauthorised unless the circumstances are exceptional. A parent/carer should complete an absence request form (Appendix 2) and submit this to the school at least two weeks prior to the date required. School will respond to the request within two weeks. If school is aware of any language difficulties that may preclude a request form being completed, appropriate support will be offered to the parent/carer.
  • DFE guidelines make clear that leave of absence during term-time should be regarded as exceptional. 
  • If a parent/carer considers they require their child to have a leave of absence for exceptional circumstances they should complete the absence request form which can be obtained from the school office (Appendix 2).  There is a requirement that parent/carers provide evidence of the exceptional circumstance and may be required to meet with the Headteacher, or another member of the school’s Senior Leadership Team.
  • Where the head teacher is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances to warrant the request of the leave of absence but has additional concerns such as the timing of the absence, or the pupil’s attendance record, they may request a meeting with the parent/ carer; the absence will not be authorised without attendance at this meeting.
  • If the Headteacher deems that the reasons for the request are exceptional and authorises the absences a letter confirming that the request has been authorised will be sent to the parent/carer (Appendix 3).
  • If the Headteacher deems that the reasons are not exceptional and the leave of absence will not be authorised, a letter informing the parents of this decision for each child and warning of the legal implications of the absence being taken will be sent to each parent (Appendix 4). 
  • If, once notified in writing of the decision to unauthorise the leave of absence, the absence is taken it will be marked as an unauthorised absence on the pupils register.  If the trigger of 10 unauthorised absences (sessions) is met then the absences should be referred immediately to the Attendance Team at WBC for consideration – this could involve potential legal action if the absence means that the child’s attendance falls below 90%.

Please note that holidays during term time will not be authorised.  Parents/ carers are asked to notify school if they intend to take their child away during term-time, so that school know where a child is.  The holiday will be recorded on the register as an unauthorised absence, even when this form is completed.  Should the absence mean that a child’s attendance falls below 90% (so the child is deemed to be persistently absent), consideration will be given to referral to the Local Authority’s Attendance Team.

Punctuality

It is important that pupils are punctual so that they do not miss out on the beginning of each school day.  Children must attend on time to be given a present mark for the session. 

If a pupil arrives late to school every day, their learning begins to suffer.  Below is a graph showing how being late to school every-day over a school year adds up to lost learning time.

punctuality(3)

Start of day routines (Reception to Year 6):

Classroom doors open for all classes in Reception to Year 6 at 8.45 and will close at 8.55am.  Registration takes place at 8.55am in the child’s classroom.

Children arriving after 8.55 am will be late for school and have to report to the main school office.

Where a pupil arrives after the register closes (9.30am) this will be classed as an unauthorised absence (code U as per DFE compulsory attendance codes).

The registers monitored daily to identify pupils who are arriving late and regular late arrival for school will be challenged as not acceptable.  Pupils who have 10 or more U codes will be referred to the WBC Attendance Team for consideration of referral or potential legal action.

Attendance, Safeguarding and Children Missing Education 

A child missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect.  We will follow our school’s procedures for dealing with children that go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual exploitation, and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future.

All schools are required to make the Local Authority aware of every registered pupil who fails to attend school regularly and any children who have been absent from school, where the absence has been treated as unauthorised for a continuous period of not less than 10 school days education (Pupil Registration (England) Regulations 2006 regulation 12).

This attendance policy is part of a broader suite of safeguarding policies including the school’s Child Protection Policy and Procedures.

Truancy within school

We monitor attendance to each session of the school day using the registers, in order to ensure all pupils are safe in school and whereabouts known.  Additionally, class teachers will check all children are present after any breaktimes.  If a pupil does not present to scheduled lessons/activities, the Senior Leadership Team is informed and staff alerted to find missing pupils.  If pupils cannot be located and are suspected of leaving school premises, parents will be informed and the police notified of a missing child. 

Alternative Education Providers

On rare occasions, a small number of pupils may be accessing an alternative education provider agreed by the school for all or part of their timetable.  In this instance the pupil remains on roll at Beamont School.  Attendance to approved alternative providers is monitored and reflected on school registers.  The responsibility of ensuring pupils are safeguarded and receiving appropriate education remains with Beamont School.   

Registers

An accurate and consistent registration system is crucial both to provide a solid foundation for analysis of absence and to support any statutory interventions.

The register is a legal document and must be kept accurately.  Attendance registers will be kept in accordance with legal requirements, local authority guidelines and school regulations.

Every half day of absence from school has to be classified by the school as either authorised or unauthorised.  Authorised absence can be given only when the Headteacher has either approved in advance for a pupil of compulsory school age to be away, or has accepted an explanation offered afterwards as satisfactory justification for absence.  All other absences, including persistent lateness, must be treated as unauthorised.

Absence can only be authorised by a person designated to do so by the Headteacher [see The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (SI No.2006/1751) – reg 7(1)].

There are procedures in place to resolve unexplained absences within two weeks.

School complies with and uses the DFE Compulsory National Attendance Codes to categorise absence (Appendix 5).

Use of Attendance Data

All schools must provide their attendance data to the DFE, most schools use their management information systems to send their data via school census: at Beamont, we do this via our SIMS system.  The figures returned are then published by the DFE as part of the annual publication of school statistics.

We collect, use and store attendance information about our pupils and may receive information about them from their previous school.  The information we keep regarding attendance includes name, contact details, attendance records, late records and any relevant medical information.   

Where there is cause for concern, this information is shared with the Attendance Team from WBC during regular attendance meetings held at school.  The Attendance Officer may then follow up attendance concerns with parents and carers on school’s behalf.   The attendance data may also be shared with CSAW for further advice and support for the school/ family as required.

X
Hit enter to search