Attendance & Punctuality
At Brindishe Schools, to promote good attendance, we will make sure that:
- all classes know what their attendance rate is and encourage within each class a positive and supportive attitude towards attendance and punctuality
- consistent messages about attendance and punctuality are shared by modelling good punctuality, praising good attendance and punctuality and explaining to children why these things matter
- individual children are spoken to about their pattern of attendance and punctuality so that they can be aware of their goals and their progress towards them
- attendance and punctuality is included on your child’s annual report and ensure that it remains part of the child’s individual school profile or record
- careful records are kept of each child’s punctuality and attendance so that our decisions and actions are based on reliable data and so that we can carefully monitor performance at child, class and whole school level.
At Brindishe Schools, if a child or family is experiencing difficulties getting into school, we will make sure that:
- work is put in to provide support to help overcome any potential barriers
- ines of communication are open so parents/carers speak to a member of staff to discuss concerns
- any family health or circumstances that are impeding a child's attendance or punctuality are discussed and support from local services and other professionals are put in place to minimise the impact.
- that an investigation is carried out into any in-school factors which may impact on a child’s willingness to attend school regularly and on time, including such areas as relationships between adults and children, between children and their peers, the child’s behaviour and progress in school and their attitude towards specific events (such as lunchtime), activities (such as tests) and subjects (such as PE).
We will be especially aware of how a child’s happiness and well-being at school can have a significant effect on their attendance and physical health.
How do we mark and monitor attendance and punctuality?
The attendance register for all children on the school roll is taken twice a day - at the start of the morning and afternoon sessions. For each child, the register is marked either as present, engaged in an approved educational activity away from the school site or absent. If the child is absent, the teacher (or person taking the register) will indicate the reasons for absence where known. This is a legal requirement that is guided by the government. For details of our start and finish times for each school please contact the school office.
What happens if a child arrives late?
It is important that classes make a prompt and effective start to the day.
Teachers provide early learning tasks to settle the class before they begin to take the register. If children arrive late, they must go to the school office to be registered for late entry. This ensures that a record of late arrivals is made, for monitoring purposes, and also ensures that the learning of the other children is not disturbed.
We fully understand that a late arrival does sometimes happen due to unavoidable circumstances. For example, there may be a serious traffic delay or a one-off unforeseen event. Whenever possible, it is always better to inform the school by telephone when a child will be late. Where a child has a pattern of late arrival, we will investigate causes and seek an improvement. A pattern of late arrivals after the registers have closed may lead to the school referring the family to the LA’s Attendance and Welfare Officer for investigation.
Below shows how your child’s attendance can be affected if they are off. We aim for all children to be around 96%.
- 95% (2 weeks) 9 days off in a school year
- 90% (4 weeks) 19 days off in a school year
- 85% (6 weeks) 29 days off in a school year
What happens if a child is going to be absent from school?
If a child is going to be absent from school, the parents/carer is responsible for letting the school office staff know the reason for the absence and the anticipated length or duration of the absence. Where no message is received about a child’s absence, the absence will be recorded as unauthorised.
If a child is absent without explanation when the register is called, the school staff will contact the parent/carers the same day, wherever possible to establish the reason.
Reasons for absence must be provided by the child’s parent/carer. This may be in person, by phone, e-mail or in writing. We cannot accept messages from primary-aged children.
Can you go on holiday during term-time?
Term-time holidays are not permitted during the school year, except for exceptional circumstances. Absences due to term-time holidays are disruptive to learning and lead to missed opportunities in the classroom.
We recognise that there may be exceptional circumstances that require a term-time holiday. In such rare cases, please submit a formal request to the head of school well in advance. The head of school will carefully consider each request and, if deemed appropriate and in the best interest of the child, may grant permission for the term-time holiday. 'Request for Leave' forms can be found below.
We emphasise that such instances will only be considered on a discretionary basis, and the decision will be made with the pupil’s educational welfare as the utmost priority. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding regarding our approach to term-time holidays.
What happens if a child’s attendance causes concern?
Parents/carers have the responsibility for ensuring that their child attends school regularly. There is a national target of 96% attendance for primary-aged children. This takes into account the normal range of childhood illnesses. We appreciate that children with special medical needs or conditions may find this target difficult to achieve. Where the need or condition is professionally supported and documented, the target of 96% attendance is relaxed and a more appropriate target set for the individual child. A child will be considered persistently absent if their attendance falls below 90%.
Fines for unauthorised absence
The Local Authority/head of school may issue a fine (known as a fixed-penalty notice) for unauthorised absence. If issued with one, you’ll need to pay this directly to the local authority – £60 within 21 days, or £120 within 28 days.
The decision whether to issue a fine may take into account factors such as the number of unauthorised within a rolling academic year and one-off instances of irregular attendance.
If you wish to discuss your child's attendance, please contact Clare Doran, our Attendance, Welfare and Safeguarding Officer for Brindishe Schools on 07943 041970 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What support can we offer?
We understand that some pupils may face challenges that impact on their attendance. Our school's attendance team is here to provide support and guidance to pupils and families in such situations. If you encounter any difficulties related to attendance, please get on touch with either your child’s class teacher, a member of the schools SLT team or Clare Doran (FSWAO).