Information for Parents
We are committed to providing high quality and inclusive education for all pupils. We believe that if pupils are to reach their full potential, then excellent attendance is crucial. The expected attendance level for pupils is 100%. However, we recognise that children do occasionally get ill, therefore the school is concerned about any attendance below 96%.
To achieve full attendance at school for our students parents must ensure regular and punctual attendance (they risk prosecution if the fail in this duty). As a school, we will provide stimulating teaching and an ethos in which all members of the school community are valued, to encourage high levels of attendance. We recognise that our strong home-school links are central to maintaining good levels of attendance and we utilise these wherever possible to support high levels of attendance.
Celebrating Good Levels of Attendance
Every week we publish the attendance percentages for each house in the school newsletter. We also celebrate the house with the highest attendance rate every two terms. At the end of the year we have attendance awards for pupils with the highest attendance.
Sharing Attendance Concerns
Where we have concerns regarding a child’s attendance we will contact the family directly and issue relevant letters. We share individual pupil attendance at parents’ evenings twice a year and in school reports at the end of the academic year. The Education Welfare Officer is actively involved in monitoring attendance levels within the school, will analyse individual pupils attendance and meet with parents where there are significant concerns. As a school we also monitor persistent lateness both in arriving at school and lateness in being collected at the end of the school day, both of which have a detrimental impact on children.
Children may be at risk of harm if they do not attend school regularly. Safeguarding the interests of the child is everyone’s responsibility. Failing to attend school on a regular basis may be considered a safeguarding matter.
Term Time Holidays
Amendments to The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 came into force on 1 September 2013. These amendments make it clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. By definition, exceptional circumstances do not occur regularly or frequently.
Unauthorised absences are those that the school does not consider reasonable and do not fall within the category of “exceptional circumstances”.
Following guidance from North Somerset, and to create a consistent approach across schools, reasons that may support an application for absence in term time include:
- Forces Personnel home from a foreign posting;
- Emergency service workers, when leave restrictions are in force;
- A significant family event or circumstance (such as a weekday family wedding); each case would be considered individually. [Where the event is a weekday family wedding, only the day of the wedding could be agreed.]
Absence for exceptional reasons cannot be authorised if a child’s current and/or previous year’s attendance is below the national average (currently 96.1%).
Parents and carers wishing to take a child out of school in term time should complete a Pupil Absence Request for Exceptional Circumstances form, giving a clear reason for the request. This should be done well in advance of the requested date and before any holiday booking takes place.
Please see the Attendance Policy for further information including penalty notices.