Attendance

Senior Leader Responsible

Mr Mitton is the senior leader with overall responsibility for championing and improving attendance.

Attendance Policy

The policy can be viewed by clicking here.

What we learned from lockdown...

  • Attending school makes a significant difference to a child's education.

  • Learning is a progressive activity; each day’s lessons build upon those of the previous day(s).

  • Reading the material and completing learning independently does not compensate for direct interaction with a teacher.

  • Many classes use discussions, demonstrations, experiments and participation as part of daily learning activities, these cannot be made up by those who are absent.

Timings

  • School starts at 8.45am with a soft start until 9am when the register closes.

  • Once children have put their belongings away, there are purposeful activities until assembly which begins very shortly after 9am.

  • School ends at 3:15pm.

Holidays

Mr Mitton cannot authorise holidays during term time.

A ‘Leave of Absence’ form, which is available from the school office or below, must be completed for any request for time out of school, whether it be that exceptional circumstances apply or your child is taking a music or dance examination and requires time off for that.

Penalty notices may be issued if parents choose to remove children from school without approval.

Reasonable Absence

It is the legal responsibility of parents to ensure their children attend school continuously. Legislation requires schools to keep a register of attendance and to record the reasons for a child’s absence, such as sickness, medical or dental appointments. A school can authorise such absences. However, the school cannot authorise all absences.

An absence may be unauthorised if no communication is received from parents. Parents should telephone the school before 9am on the first day of the child’s absence, stating the reason. We expect a note of explanation if the child returns after a period of absence that has not been notified. To avoid spreading illness, please consult the NHS guidance for further information.

As you would imagine, your child’s attendance is rigorously tracked. If your child’s attendance is a concern, a member of staff will communicate with you, either in writing or by a phone call.

As an example, Andrew is currently in Year 3. His attendance at the end of the school year is 90% - this is the equivalent to a half-day every week or, put another way, is the equivalent to Andrew missing four weeks of education in a school year. Just think about the potential effect this could have on his education.

Reasonable explanations includes:

  1. Medical, sickness, dental reasons

  2. Receiving part-time/temporary education at an off unit site

  3. Educational visit (i.e. with the school)

  4. Leave of absence due to exceptional circumstances granted by the Headteacher

  5. Excluded for fixed, indefinite or permanent period from school.

Any child who arrives late at school, after the registers have been closed, will be recorded as having an unauthorised absence with the exception of the explanations above if this is not a regular occurrence.

Please inform us as soon as possible if you wish your child to leave early for a medical appointment or family emergency. We would expect him/her to be collected from school in these circumstances.

Please note that we only release children in school time to a parent or guardian and with prior notification.

All Pupils

Parental Responsibility

  • Ensure their child attends every day the school is open except when a statutory reason applies.

  • Notify the school as soon as possible when their child has to be unexpectedly absent (e.g. sickness).

  • Only request leave of absence in exceptional circumstances and do so in advance.

  • Book any medical appointments around the school day where possible.

School Responsibility

  • Have a clear school attendance policy on the school website which all staff, pupils and parents understand.

  • Develop and maintain a whole school culture that promotes the benefits of good attendance.

  • Accurately complete admission and attendance registers.

  • Have robust daily processes to follow up absence.

  • Have a dedicated senior leader with overall responsibility for championing and improving attendance.

GMAT Responsibility

  • Take an active role in attendance improvement, support their school(s) to prioritise attendance, and work together with leaders to set whole school cultures.

  • Ensure school leaders fulfil expectations and statutory duties.

  • Ensure school staff receive training on attendance.

Hampshire Responsibility

  • Have a strategic approach to improving attendance for the whole area and make it a key focus of all frontline council services.

  • Have a School Attendance Support Team that works with all schools in their area to remove area-wide barriers to attendance.

  • Provide each school with a named point of contact in the School Attendance Support Team who can support with queries and advice.

  • Offer opportunities for all schools in the area to share effective practice.

Additional Measures for those at risk of becoming persistently absent

Parental Responsibility

  • Work with the school and local authority to help them understand their child’s barriers to attendance.

  • Proactively engage with the support offered to prevent the need for more formal support.

School Responsibility

  • Proactively use data to identify pupils at risk of poor attendance.

  • Work with each identified pupil and their parents to understand and address the reasons for absence, including any in-school barriers to attendance.

  • Where out of school barriers are identified, signpost and support access to any required services in the first instance.

  • If the issue persists, take an active part in the multi-agency effort with the local authority and other partners.

  • Act as the lead practitioner where all partners agree that the school is the best placed lead service.

  • Where the lead practitioner is outside of the school, continue to work with the local authority and partners.

GMAT Responsibility

  • Regularly review attendance data and help school leaders focus support on the pupils who need it.

Hampshire Responsibility

  • Hold a termly conversation with every school to identify, discuss and signpost or provide access to services for pupils who are persistently or severely absent or at risk of becoming so.

  • Where there are out of school barriers, provide each identified pupil and their family with access to services they need in the first instance.

  • If the issue persists, facilitate a voluntary early help assessment where appropriate. Take an active part in the multi-agency effort with the school and other partners. Provide the lead practitioner where all partners agree that a local authority service is best placed to lead. Where the lead practitioner is outside of the local authority, continue to work with the school and partners.

Additional Measures Persistently Absent Pupils

Parental Responsibility

  • Work with the school and local authority to help them understand their child’s barriers to attendance.

  • Proactively engage with the formal support offered – including any parenting contract or voluntary early help plan to prevent the need for legal intervention.

School Responsibility

  • Continued support as for pupils at risk of becoming persistently absent and:

  • Where absence becomes persistent, put additional targeted support in place to remove any barriers. Where necessary this includes working with partners.

  • Where there is a lack of engagement, hold more formal conversations with parents and be clear about the potential need for legal intervention in future.

  • Where support is not working, being engaged with or appropriate, work with the local authority on legal intervention.

  • Where there are safeguarding concerns, intensify support through statutory children’s social care.

  • Work with other schools in the local area, such as schools previously attended and the schools of any siblings.

GMAT Responsibility

  • Regularly review attendance data and help school leaders focus support on the pupils who need it.

Hampshire Responsibility

  • Continued support as for pupils at risk of becoming persistently absent and:

  • Work jointly with the school to provide formal support options including parenting contracts and education supervision orders.

  • Where there are safeguarding concerns, ensure joint working between the school, children’s social care services and other statutory safeguarding partners.

  • Where support is not working, being engaged with or appropriate, enforce attendance through legal intervention (including prosecution as a last resort).

Additional Measures Severely Absent Pupils

Parental Responsibility

  • Work with the school and local authority to help them understand their child’s barriers to attendance.

  • Proactively engage with the formal support offered – including any parenting contract or voluntary early help plan to prevent the need for legal intervention.

School Responsibility

  • Continued support as for persistently absent pupils and:

  • Agree a joint approach for all severely absent pupils with the local authority.

GMAT Responsibility

  • Regularly review attendance data and help school leaders focus support on the pupils who need it.

Hampshire Responsibility

  • Continued support as for persistently absent pupils and:

  • All services should make this group the top priority for support. This may include a whole family plan, consideration for an education, health and care plan, or alternative form of educational provision.

  • Be especially conscious of any potential safeguarding issues, ensuring joint working between the school, children’s social care services and other statutory safeguarding partners. Where appropriate, this could include conducting a full children’s social care assessment and building attendance into children in need and child protection plans.

Children with SEND

Parental Responsibility

  • Work with the school and local authority to help them understand their child’s barriers to attendance.

  • Proactively engage with the formal support offered – including any parenting contract or voluntary early help plan to prevent the need for legal intervention.

School Responsibility

  • Maintain the same ambition for attendance and work with pupils and parents to maximise attendance.

  • Ensure join up with pastoral support and where required, put in place additional support and adjustments, such as an individual healthcare plan and if applicable, ensuring the provision outlined in the pupil’s EHCP is accessed.

  • Consider additional support from wider services and external partners, making timely referrals.

  • Regularly monitor data for such groups, including at board and governing body meetings and with local authorities.

GMAT Responsibility

  • Regularly review attendance data and help school leaders focus support on the pupils who need it.

Hampshire Responsibility

  • Work closely with relevant services and partners, for example special educational needs, educational psychologists, and mental health services, to ensure joined up support for families.

  • Ensure suitable education, such as alternative provision, is arranged for children of compulsory school age who because of health reasons would not otherwise receive a suitable education.

Children with A Social Worker

Parental Responsibility

  • Work with the school and local authority to help them understand their child’s barriers to attendance.

  • Proactively engage with the support offered.

School Responsibility

  • Inform the pupil’s social worker if there are any unexplained absences and if their name is to be deleted from the register.

GMAT Responsibility

  • Regularly review attendance data and help school leaders focus support on the pupils who need it.

Hampshire Responsibility

    • Regularly monitor the attendance of children with a social worker in their area.

    • Put in place personal education plans for looked-after children.

    • Secure regular attendance of looked-after children as their corporate parent and provide advice and guidance about the importance of attendance to those services supporting pupils previously looked after.

Key Documents