School Attendance Policy
This policy has been developed for use by all staff to ensure the best possible attendance for all pupils at school. It is also intended to provide clear structures for attendance practice and to provide guidance for Governors, Parents / Carers At Goodrich we are determined to achieve the best for all our children. Our school aim is High Standards for All. This includes attendance. Indeed, it is widely recognized that periods of absence can have a negative effect on the educational outcomes and future life chances of children. It is therefore essential for all pupils to attend school regularly and avoid any absence. Goodrich will do all we can to encourage parents/carers to ensure that their children achieve the best possible attendance and that any problems that may prevent full attendance are identified and acted on promptly.
We expect that all pupils will:
- Attend school regularly.
- Be punctual for an 8:55 am start.
- Engage with the education being provided.
- Arrive at school appropriately prepared for the day.
We expect that all parents/carers will:
Ensure regular school attendance and be aware of their legal responsibilities.
Ensure that the child/children in their care arrive at school each day punctually and properly prepared for the school day wearing school uniform.
Contact the school on the first day of absence and provide proof of illness / appointments if requested.
Contact the school office promptly whenever any problem occurs that may keep the child away from school.
What the school will do:
- Provide a welcoming atmosphere for children.
- Provide a safe learning environment.
- Keep regular and accurate records of attendance for all pupils, twice daily by eregister.
- Registers will be completed and sent to the office by: AM registration 9:15am PM registration EYFS & KS1 1:10pm and KS2 1:40pm.
- When e-register is not working, a paper register will be completed.
- Monitor every pupil’s attendance.
- Where no message has been received to explain the absence, contact parents as soon as possible on the first day of absence.
- Follow up all unexplained absences to obtain a reason for the absence and the likely date of return.
- Emphasise the importance of good attendance and take positive steps to encourage it.
- Provide a sympathetic response to any pupil’s concerns.
- Where there is attendance or punctuality concerns, meet with the parents/carers to discuss, support and plan improvement.
- Consult and liaise closely with the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) on a regular basis and take responsibility for ensuring appropriate pupils are identified and referred without delay.
The school holiday dates are published a term before the next academic year begins. If leave from school in term time is unavoidable, a ‘leave of absence’ form must be completed in advance. This can be obtained from the school office. The Headteacher will then decide whether or not to authorise the absence.
Headteachers, on behalf of the Governors, can grant leave, at their discretion. The Local Authority advises headteachers to only authorise absence for leave in exceptional circumstances. Where leave of absence is granted, the headteacher will determine the number of days a pupil can be away from school. Where ‘leave of absence’ is denied and parents still take their children out of school the register code will show ‘G’ (Holiday not authorised by school). If pupils do not return to school by the date set / agreed, the ‘G’ code will also be used.
It must be noted that regulations do not allow schools to give retrospective approval. If parents do not apply for leave of absence, the absence must be recorded as unauthorised.
Encouraging good attendance
Goodrich School encourages regular attendance in the following ways:
- By celebrating good and improved attendance in assemblies.
- By rewarding 100% attendance.
- By rewarding 100% punctuality.
- By providing a caring and welcoming learning environment.
- By responding promptly to a child’s or parent’s concerns about the school or other pupils.
- By marking registers accurately and punctually during morning and afternoon registration. If pupils arrive at school after the close of the register without a written explanation, the lateness will be recorded as an unauthorised absence and the pupil’s name recorded in the late book in case of a fire drill.
- By publishing and displaying attendance statistics; By monitoring pupils, informing parents/carers in writing of irregular attendance, arranging meetings with them if necessary and referring the family to the Education Welfare Officer if the irregular attendance continues.
Responding to non-attendance
- On the first day of absence, if no note or telephone call is received from the parent/carer by 9:30 am the school will send a text message asking for the reason of absence.
- If there is no response, the school will continue to try to contact the parent/carer. If, by the end of the second day, there has still been no contact made, the school will send a letter of concern to parents/carers and/or invite them into school to explain the absence. Parents are given 10 days to provide an acceptable reason for absence. If no reason, or if the reason given is not accepted by the school, ‘N’ (No reason yet provided) codes must be changed to ‘O’ (Absent from school without authorisation).
- The school will meet with parents/carers to discuss absence. If absence persists a referral will be made to the Education Welfare Officer.
- The school will inform parents of concerns regarding attendance and punctuality through a laddered system of meetings and letters.
- If problems appear to be on going an Education Welfare Officer will be allocated to work with the family.
- The Education Welfare Officer will make arrangements to meet with the parent/carer at home or in school to discuss the reasons for the pupil’s non-attendance. The EWO 4 Attendance and Punctuality Policy Sept 2013 will support and advise the parent/carer and the school, with a view to resolving any difficulties and improving the pupil's attendance. Failure to comply with the expectations set by the EWS can result in further or legal action.
It is important that if families decide to send the child/children in their care to a different school they inform Goodrich School office staff as soon as possible. A pupil will not be removed from this school roll until the following information has been received in writing and investigated.
- The date the pupil will be leaving this school and starting the next.
- The address of the new school.
- The new home address, if the reason for changing school is moving home.
- The pupil’s school records will then be sent on to the new school as soon as possible.
- If a parent / carer appears to have removed their child from school or the child has completely stopped attending without providing the above information, the family will be referred to the EWS.
Medical/other preplanned appointments
Unless in emergency situations, if a child has a planned medical/ other appointment, which cannot be scheduled outside of school hours, then a letter must be sent in advance to the school office or class teacher stating all relevant information. In these circumstances, parents can collect children from the school office.