At Bollin, we recognise that good attendance and punctuality are central to raising standards and pupil attainment.
For our children to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.
Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning. Any pupil’s absence or later arrival disrupts teaching routines and so may affect the learning of others in the same class.
Ensuring a child’s regular attendance at school is a parental responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution.
We recognise that there will be occasional times when children will be too ill to attend school; however, children do build up resilience and resistance to illness and should be able to attend school the majority of the time.
An attendance rate of 90% or over sounds impressive over the year; however, it actually means that your child only attends school 4.5 days out of every 5 days. If this continues up to Year 11 in secondary school, your child will have missed more than half a school year!
The government and Ofsted recognise the importance of good attendance and views outstanding attendance to be 98% or over; as a school community we are committed to working in partnership with you to ensure outstanding attendance for all.
Types of Absence
Understanding Types of Absence
Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school (not by the parents), as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required.
Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason like illness, medical/dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies or other unavoidable cause.
Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no “leave" has been given. This type of absence can lead to the Authority using sanctions and/or legal proceedings. This includes:
• parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily
• truancy before or during the school day
• absences which have never been properly explained
• children who arrive at school too late to get a mark
• shopping, looking after other children or birthdays
• day trips and holidays in term time which have not been agreed.
Whilst any child may be off school because they are ill, sometimes they can be reluctant to attend school. Any problems with regular attendance are best sorted out between the school, the parents and the child. If a parent thinks their child is reluctant to attend school then we will work with that family to understand the root problem. We can use outside agencies to help with this such as the School Nurse or the Education Welfare Officer.
Helping to create a pattern of regular attendance is everybody’s responsibility - parents, pupils and all members of school staff. To help us all to focus on this we will:
- Give parents/carers details on attendance in our newsletters.
- Report to parents/carers annually on how their child’s attendance with the annual school report.
- Report to parents at parents’ evening in the Autumn and Spring Terms.
- Contact parents/carers should their child’s attendance fall below 90%.
- Celebrate good attendance.
If a child is absent, we ask parents/carers to follow the following procedures:
- Contact us as soon as possible on the first day of absence before 9.30. We have an answer phone available to leave a message if nobody is available to take the call.
- Or call into school and report at the School Office.
If a child is absent we will:
- Telephone parents/carers on the first day of absence if we have not heard from them;
- Invite them in to discuss the situation with our Headteacher if absences persist;
- Refer the matter to the Education Welfare Officer if attendance moves below 90% or if on-going concerns persist.
Please note we operate a zero tolerance towards holidays taken during term time.
At Bollin, we class a pupil as a ‘persistent absentee’ when they miss 10% or more schooling across the school year for whatever reason. Absence at this level is doing considerable damage to any child’s education and we need parent’s fullest support and co-operation to tackle this.
We monitor all absence and the reasons given thoroughly. Any case that is seen to have reached the PA mark or is at risk of moving towards that mark is given priority and we will inform the parents/carers immediately.
PA pupils are tracked and monitored carefully we also combine this with academic tracking where absence affects attainment. All PA pupils are highlighted to our EWO and an identified plan of action agreed.
Lateness is monitored and recorded by the school as a legal requirement. Parents/carers who are regularly late are likely to be contacted by us. As with low attendance, lateness is also detrimental to a child’s education because they will miss the start of the opening session to the day.
We all want the pupils to do well at school and very much value working in partnership with parents; therefore, we must insist on good attendance and punctuality at all times. If you are experiencing any difficulties which may impact on your child’s ability to get to school on time, or attend school, please do inform us earlier rather than later as we may be able to support you further.
Education Welfare Officer
Parents are expected to contact school at an early stage and to work with the staff in resolving any problems together. This is nearly always successful. If difficulties cannot be sorted out in this way, we may refer the child to the Education Welfare Officer from the Local Authority. He/she will also try to resolve the situation by agreement but, if other ways of trying to improve the child’s attendance have failed and unauthorised absences persist, these Officers can use sanctions such as Penalty Notices or prosecutions in the Magistrates Court.
Alternatively, parents or children may wish to contact the EWO themselves to ask for help or information. They are independent of the school and will give impartial advice. Their telephone number is available from the school office or by contacting the Local Authority.