First Federation Trust
Attendance – important information
Regular school attendance is an important part of giving children the best possible start in life.
Telling us your child will be absent:
Office staff check all class registers between 9.00am and 9.15am on a daily basis to identify those pupils who are absent. Where a child is absent from school and we have not received any verbal or written communication from the parent, we initiate the first day contact procedures. If no message is left with the school office, we will telephone in turn each of the contacts on the list provided by the parents. If we are still unable to get confirmation as to why the child is not at school, we will proceed to a welfare check (this is a visit to the home address). This is normally carried out by the senior staff from the school or the Education Welfare Officer (EWO). If we are still unable to confirm the child’s welfare, we will call 101 to report the child as missing. This is the school’s duty of care and safeguarding for your child.
Understanding types of absence:
Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school 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 includes:
- Parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily
- Absences which have not 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
Absence procedures – Parental responsibility:
- Inform the school office on the first day of absence (telephone 01548 842842, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or in person) indicating the reason for absence and the expected return date
- The reason for absence must be in full i.e. sickness on Sunday, temperature, severe cold etc. Please do not leave vague messages i.e. unwell, ill or under the weather as the school office will have to call you back for more information.
- If child is unable to return on expected date, parent to inform school office
- Provide copies of medical appointment letters or cards
- We have a 48 hour rule for any sickness/diarrhea to try to prevent any outbreaks. Please ensure that if your child has suffered with either of these, they remain absent from school for a clear 48 hour period from the last attack.
If absences become a concern:
- Initial issues are raised by letters to parents/carer
- If absences persist parent/carer is invited in to discuss support with the Head of School Mr Everitt
- If this fails to achieve required improvements then the matter is referred to the Education and Welfare Officer (EWO)
- Holidays are not permitted during term-time unless there are exceptional circumstances
- Any period of leave taken without the agreement of the school will be classed as unauthorised and may attract sanctions such as a Fixed Penalty Notice.
- If you require a period of leave for your child please submit this request in writing to the headteacher as soon as possible prior to the leave.
Why punctuality is so important:
- Children that arrive late are likely to have missed the start of the lesson which makes it more difficult for them to learn as the lesson progresses.
- Late arrivals distract classmates and interrupt the teacher’s lesson.
- Children that arrive late are likely to feel unsettled and are embarrassed to walk into class once it has started.
- Children that arrive late are developing bad habits. It sets up your child for the future; whether at primary school, secondary school, college or work. They could lose their place or job if they think it is acceptable to be late.
Teachers are on duty from 8.40am and lessons begin at 8.45am. The register is taken twice a day; once at the start of the morning session and once at the start of the afternoon session. Children will receive a late mark if they are not in class by 8.45am. The register officially closes at 9.00am, after which time pupils arriving without good reason will be marked as U which counts as a legal absence.
For any pupils where punctuality continues to be a problem, parents/carers are invited in to meet with the Head of School, Mr Everitt.
The school has duty of care and safeguarding responsibilities for your child, if you do not report their absence, we must investigate their whereabouts.