Reporting School Absences
If your child is unable to attend school, it is important that you contact school at the earliest opportunity, and no later than 9.15am on the day of absence. It is imperative that you contact school for every consecutive day that your child is absent. You can contact the school through the following ways:
- Telephone: 01872 863563
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Should we not hear from a parent/carer by this time, an automated text message shall be sent asking you to make immediate contact with school. Until contact is made, these absences will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’, and a note on your child’s record of no contact made. If your child is unwell, we do understand, but it is important that we have a reason for this. We cannot accept ‘poorly’, ‘under the weather’, ‘generally unwell’, ‘off colour’, so please expect our school secretaries/staff members to challenge these reasons & ask for more information. Reasons we may challenge include feeling tired, oversleeping, sunburn, and anything such as this will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’. Please note that unauthorised absences can lead to legal action if your child's attendance continues to be poor.
We are asking that any medical or dental appointments are made outside of school hours where possible. If this cannot be avoided, please ensure that you provide notice of this well in advance wherever possible. It is also expected that children return after the appointment and come in before depending on the time of the appointment.
Exceptional Circumstances Leave Request
These forms have been sent electronically to all our families, alternatively you can ask for a copy from school reception. Please note that requests for family holidays, or any other event, cannot be authorised in school term time, and they will be recorded as unauthorised on the register. Forms must be in school at least 15 days prior to the first day of absence.
Our school gates open at 8.20am, and the children line up at 8.25am where their teacher welcomes them into school. School day begins for all children at 8.30am, and it is essential that children are on time. Being on time not only allows for them to come in with their peers, but it also means that they are able to settle in and get ready for the school day without feeling rushed, and essentially, not missing out on anything. Some children feel apprehensive when they are late, and this creates a barrier for them when starting the school day. Please help us help your children.
Educational Welfare Officer
I will be working alongside and communicating regularly with our school’s Educational Welfare Officer, and we will be meeting on a termly basis. They will be looking at and scrutinizing our school attendance data. The overall patterns of attendance are looked at, scrutinising authorised, illness, medical, lateness, unauthorised absence, and courses of next steps will be discussed. This may mean that we will invite you for a meeting to see how we can together, support you and your children so that attendance improves.
Communicating with our families
We want to keep our families up to date with their child’s attendance, and believe it is just as important to highlight those children who have excellent attendance. Therefore, we will endeavour to inform parents via text of those children who have achieved 100% attendance for that school week, and this will begin from October. Parents will receive a copy of their child’s attendance data at parent/teacher consultations & then at the end of the school year in their child’s report. Those children who have an attendance rate of 97% and above will be rewarded for this achievement termly and half termly.
Since September 2015, a new challenge has faced every school with the reduction of the threshold for persistent absenteeism now set at 10%, reducing from 15% in previous years. This amounts to 19 school days in a year. This is a very tight target and is linked to holidays in term time and indiscriminate days off.
Additionally, the guidance for issuing penalty notices for unauthorised absence has been revised. It now states that:
Penalty Notices can only be issued in cases where a pupil of compulsory school age has been absent from school and the absence has not been authorised
Where a pupil arrives persistently late
The minimum level of absence necessary is 10 or more school sessions (5 days) in any 100 day period.
Prosecution under the Education Act should be considered as an alternative where 20 or more sessions of unauthorised absence occur.
It is therefore essential that all requests for ‘leave of absence’ are made well in advance to enable time to check reasons, evidence and previous attendance information. Do not assume that authorisation will be given. School term dates are published well in advance to enable parents to make plans for holidays out of school time. These can be found either on the school website Calendar or Cornwall Council website.
This guidance is intended to be used in tackling parentally condoned absence where it is reasonable to expect that a parent can ensure the child’s regular attendance but are not willing to take responsibility for doing so.
Please help us and your child by ensuring that their attendance remains above 95%.