In the 2014-15 academic year, the school’s absence rate was lower than the national average, which is great! Unfortunately however, it was slightly higher than the school’s rate of absence the previous year. As attendance is crucial in ensuring that children make good progress - we would like to improve on this.
We are aiming for all children to have an attendance rate of at least 95%. Our target is 97.1%. A child with below 90% attendance is now considered a persistent absentee as per government guidelines. If a child’s absence is below 95%, you will receive a letter requesting you try and improve your child’s rate of absence. After a 6 week period, if your child’s attendance has not improved, you may be asked to provide medical evidence, such as an appointment card, or prescription, for future absences. Sometimes a child’s absence may be below this because they have a serious illness or medical condition and we wish to reassure you that no action will be taken in these cases.
Of course we don’t want children to come to school if they are feeling poorly. However sometimes it can be difficult in the morning, before school, to accurately judge the extent of a child’s illness. In these cases, we wish to reassure you that if a child comes to school but then continues to appear poorly– we will ring you to let you know. Prescribed medication and/or pain relief can also be administered by school staff providing a green Medication form has been completed.
Please continue to let school know in the morning if your child is not going to be in that day using the dedicated absence e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Option 1 when you phone in to the school.
In line with the ‘Guidance on infection control in schools and other childcare settings’ (Public Health England 2014), we continue to request that children stay home for a full 48 hours after any episode of vomiting and diarrhoea to prevent the spread of infection. As advised previously, please also advise us immediately if there are any shingles, chickenpox or measles outbreaks in your family so that we can inform the family of Ella Margrie who is currently receiving treatment for cancer.
If your child is absent for 5 consecutive days you will be asked to provide evidence of attendance at a GPs surgery on the fifth day. Any unplanned absence due to illness that follows a planned but unauthorised absence will automatically be recorded as unauthorised unless medical evidence is provided.
Planned Absence Requests
If your child has a medical appointment booked, please advise Reception that they may be late or that you will be picking them up early, before the date of absence, to ensure that your child’s record is noted correctly. We will authorise two hours absence for medical appointments, providing evidence of the appointment is shown. Please ensure that your child attends school before and after the appointment if possible. Routine dental check-ups should always take place outside school hours.
Unfortunately we can only authorise other planned absences such as holidays or family events in extraordinary circumstances. Where absence requests are not authorised, the absence will be marked as unauthorised, if the child is subsequently absent from school on those days. You should be aware that we have a duty to report unauthorised absence to the Education Welfare Officer and, if their thresholds are met, this may make parents or carers liable to a fine from the Local Authority.
Recurring lateness is an issue in many classes. This is a problem as children may miss important early morning work or intervention. It also leads to a disruptive start for the child and their school day. Children arriving at school between 8.45 and 8.55 will therefore be marked as late (L). The Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 classes open at 8.30 and the playground is supervised from 8.30 am for children in Key Stage 2.
Registers are a legal safeguarding document and need to be ‘closed’ so that daily attendance can be recorded. Our registers will close at 8.55 am and therefore anyone arriving after this time will be marked as having an Unauthorised Absence (U). Please note that if you arrive after 8.55 am with your child, they will not be admitted to their classroom until they have registered and signed in at Reception. This is because the register will already have been sent to the Office.
We hope that together we can improve the attendance rate of the children at St Nicholas and that by doing so we will secure the best possible educational outcomes for your child.
We pride ourselves in the care and support that we offer our families. If you are having trouble bringing your child to school, please get in touch with your child’s class teacher or Amelia Harding, the Inclusion Leader and Senior Designated Officer for Safeguarding (email@example.com).