policy on attendance

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					                             R L HUGHES PRIMARY SCHOOL.
                                        Pupil Attendance Policy

                                               Reviewed. __June 2007

                                            Next review. ____June 2008

1      Introduction
    We expect all children on roll to attend every day, when the school is in session, as long as
    they are fit and healthy enough to do so. We believe that the most important factor in
    promoting good attendance is development of positive attitudes towards school. To this end,
    we strive to make our school a happy and rewarding experience for all children. We will reward
    those children whose attendance and punctuality is very good.
    Regular school attendance is essential if a child is to make the most of the educational
    opportunity available to them. R L Hughes Primary takes seriously its responsibility to monitor
    and promote the regular attendance and punctuality of all its pupils. We acknowledge that
    irregular attendance seriously disrupts continuity of learning, undermines educational progress,
    can lead to underachievement and low attainment and impedes the child’s ability to develop
    friendship groups within the school.
    Parents have a legal responsibility for ensuring that their child attends school regularly and
    punctually. They also have a legal responsibility to ensure that their children stay in school for
    every lesson after registration. Parents should ensure that pupils arrive on time, suitably
    dressed, with the right equipment and in a fit state to benefit from the education offered to
    them. Under the 1996 Education Act parents may be prosecuted if their child does not attend
    school regularly and punctually.
    Under the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 1995, the governing body are
    responsible for making sure the school keeps an attendance register that records which pupils
    are present at the start of both the morning and the afternoon sessions of the school day. This
    register will indicate late attendance and whether an absence was authorised or unauthorised.


2      Procedures for Recording and Monitoring Attendance and Punctuality
    Class teachers or Teaching Assistants will take a register at the start of each morning and
    afternoon session. The register will record who is present and absent from school at 8.55am
    and 1.15pm. The registers will be returned to the school office as soon as they are
    completed. Any late pupils must then report to the school office. Office staff will record the
    lateness and the reason on the Late Arrivals List.
    All staff, parents and guardians need to be aware that any pupil arriving late must register at
    the office for purposes of fire regulations.
    The register closes at 9.30am and any pupil arriving after this will be marked absent for the
    session. A reason for the lateness will need to be provided and a decision made by the school
    to mark it as an authorised or unauthorised absence.
    Parents are requested to telephone school on the first day of absence if a pupil is unable to
    attend school.
    Administration staff will enter the details on the electronic attendance system. The reasons for
    any late or absence will be assessed and the appropriate code entered onto the system.

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    When the child returns to school, a note must be brought from a parent or guardian to explain
    the absence. School will send a reminder note to families if a letter has not been received. If a
    reply is not received after 3 weeks then the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. A note
    may be sent to the school prior to the day of absence, e.g. if a child has a medical
    appointment.
    If there is any doubt about the whereabouts of a child, the class teacher should take immediate
    action by notifying the school office. The school will then be in contact straight away with the
    parent or guardian, in order to check on the safety of the child.



3      Definitions
     Authorised absence
      The 1996 Education Act identifies the following as acceptable reasons for an authorised
      absence.
         1. The pupil is ill or is prevented from attending by an unavoidable cause
         2. The pupil lives over a certain distance from school and either the LA has failed to
             make suitable arrangements to register the pupil at a nearer school or the LA has
             failed to make suitable transport arrangements
         3. The pupil is absent on days exclusively set apart for religious observance in their
             particular faith
         4. The pupil is absent ‘with leave’. This refers to leave being granted by the school,
             not the parent, and would normally relate to no more than 10 school days in any 1
             year.
      Only the school can authorise an absence. Parents do not have this authority.
      Consequently, not all absences supported by parents will be classified as authorised.

     Unauthorised absence
      An absence is classified as unauthorised when a child is away from school without the
      permission of both the school and a parent.

4      Requests for leave of absence
     Holidays during term time.
       At R L Hughes we do not condone holidays taken during term time. There are exceptional
       circumstances when holiday leave, of up to 10 days in any 1 school year, may be granted.
       Holiday leave will not be granted during school assessment weeks, during the months of
       April and May (SAT’s weeks), at the beginning or end of term, if a pupil’s attendance rate is
       less than 94% or for reasons of economy or convenience.
       Requests for holiday leave during term time must be made 6 weeks in advance.
       Requests for holiday leave of up to 10 days, may be sanctioned if a parent or guardian
       works for a company that has an annual closure period or that does not allow employees to
       negotiate holiday leave. The request must still be made 6 weeks in advance and be
       accompanied by supporting documentation from the employer.
     Other requests.
       We do understand that there are circumstances under which a parent may legitimately
       request leave of absence e.g. for a child to attend a special family event. We expect
       parents to contact the school at least a week in advance, but normally this request will be
       granted.




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5     Repeated absences and/or late attendance
      The school will contact the parent or guardian of any child whose attendance falls below
      85% even when some or all of the absences have been authorised. This is in order to offer
      support to the family to help improve their child’s attendance. If a child has a repeated
      number of unauthorised and authorised absences, the parents or guardians will be asked
      to visit the school and discuss the problem. If the situation does not improve, the school’s
      Educational Welfare Officer will visit the home and seek to ensure that the parents or
      guardians understand the seriousness of the situation. Persistent late attendance will be
      managed by the same process.
      The governors, supported by the LA, reserve the right to consider taking legal action
      against any parents or guardians who repeatedly fail to accept their responsibility for
      sending their children to school punctually and on a regular basis.
      The Local Authority has a responsibility to provide education and promote regular
      attendance of all statutory school age children. Through the Education Welfare Service
      (EWS) the LA provides support to schools and parents to fulfil their legal duty. The EWS is
      the enforcement agency of the LA and as well as providing guidance and support through
      its officers may take a parent to court for not fulfilling their duty under section 444 of the
      education Act 1996. The court may fine the parent and put in place a School Attendance
      order, an Education Supervision Order or a Parenting Order.

6     Rewards for good attendance
      All the children who have 100 per cent attendance in any one term will receive a certificate
      for attendance, awarded at the last assembly of the term. There are special certificates for
      any child who has 100 per cent attendance for a whole year.

7     Attendance targets
      The school sets attendance targets each year. These are agreed with the governors at the
      annual target-setting meeting. The attendance targets are then agreed with the LA link
      advisor and Education Welfare Officer. The targets are challenging yet realistic and based
      on attendance figures achieved in previous years.

8     Monitoring and review
      It is the responsibility of the governors to monitor overall attendance and they will request
      an annual report from the headteacher. The governing body also has the responsibility for
      this policy and for seeing that it is carried out. The governors will therefore examine closely
      the information provided to them and seek to ensure that our attendance figures are as
      high as they should be.
      The school will keep accurate attendance records on file for a minimum period of three
      years.
      The rates of attendance will be reported in the school prospectus and in the annual school
      profile.
      This policy will be reviewed by the governing body every two years, or earlier if considered
      necessary.


Signed:                                                   Date:

Chair of Governors:


Headteacher:

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