Attendance

Royal Park Primary School is committed to providing a first class educational experience for all pupils. If children are to fully benefit, regular attendance is vital. As a school we will do all we can to ensure maximum attendance for all pupils. Any problems that impede full attendance will be identified and addressed as speedily as possible.

Our school will give a high priority to conveying to parents and pupils the importance of regular and punctual attendance. We recognise that parents have a vital role to play as well as legal responsibility. We will endeavor to establish and maintain strong home-school links and communication systems that we can utilise whenever there is a concern about attendance. We will work in partnership with parents, pupils and other agencies to resolve problems as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Unauthorised Absence

The head teacher decides whether the explanation provided for a child’s absence is reasonable. Only in special circumstances will an absence which is not for sickness be authorised.

Holidays during term time will not be authorised. Leave of absence for exceptional circumstances will be considered and may be authorised if the attendance record for the pupil concerned is good i.e. on or above the school target. Leave of absence is not authorised for treats i.e. trips to the theatre for a birthday but the school will consider authorising other short leaves of absence for family funerals and religious observance. Authorisation will also be given for children participating, not spectating, in drama productions, sports events and such activities.

A full written explanation is required as to why leave of absence has to be taken during term time. Leave of absence must be requested in advance and not on return. If done retrospectively then the leave of absence is unauthorised regardless of reason for leave of absence.

The EWO will be advised of levels of unauthorised absence which may trigger the issuing of fixed-penalty notices.

Procedures

  1. Teachers should complete accurate registers at the beginning of each morning and afternoon session
  2. Any children absent without explanation are identified by the office staff
  3. A first day calling system is operated. Parents are contacted by telephone if their children are absent without explanation. Any reasons for absence will be recorded
  4. Any children arriving after the register closes at 9:00am will be marked late
  5. Children arriving after this time are recorded in the late book as they arrive at the main school entrance
  6. If a satisfactory explanation has not been gained or received then the absence is marked as unauthorised. 

Monitoring Absence

  • The attendance of all pupils is monitored daily by the deputy head teacher and attendance officer
  • Pupils with less than 92% attendance are recorded and sent to the EWO (Educational Welfare Officer)
  • Children on the EWO referral lists are monitored weekly and figures emailed separately to the EWO.
  • The family liaison officer, attendance officer and EWO meet regularly to monitor pupils with attendance below 92%, to decide on letters and referrals, and on which pupils to ‘fast track’.
  • Parents of pupils whose attendance is below 92% receive a letter indicating that attendance is unsatisfactory
  • If there is no improvement within a month a letter is sent inviting parents to an attendance surgery
  • If there continues to be no improvement a formal referral may be made to (EW) Education Welfare (with the possibility of prosecution, fines etc.).
  • At this point a discussion is held with EWO to decide if the parent/carer should be put on ‘Fast Track’ An action plan for improving the child’s attendance is drawn up and signed by the parents and school. The school may ask for medical evidence and parents should take their child to their GP. If no letter from the GP is forthcoming then we ask the parent to consent to the school contacting the GP via the EWO. If the parent withholds consent then all absences will be unauthorised.
  • If this process is deemed unsuitable or unsuccessful, legal action may be taken
  • In addition to these actions, parents or carers may be asked to attend a meeting with the deputy head teacher and family liaison officer to offer support for children and families to improve attendance.

Punctuality

  • Children are recorded as late if they arrive after 9:00 am; they sign in at the office before going into class
  • Children arriving after 9.30am, unless for a notified reason (e.g. doctor’s appointment), will be recorded as having an unauthorised absence.
  • If they are late due to a dental/hospital appointment then an appointment card or confirmation from the parent/carer is needed.
  • Lateness is monitored regularly.
  • Discussions are held with parents/carers whose children are late on a regular basis.
  • Punctuality is monitored by the EWO.
  • Daily ‘late gates’ are conducted by the attendance officer and family liaison officer as well as periodic attendance of the head teacher and deputy head teacher

Fast Track to Attendance

The school uses the ‘Fast Track’ system for dealing with serious and persistent absence. Fast Track involves in-school surgeries to which parents/carers are invited. Their aim is to provide any support necessary to make an immediate improvement in attendance. If this process does not significantly improve attendance then parents/carers may be subject to prosecution.

Long-term absence

  • Where a child is off sick for more than 5 consecutive school days then medical evidence may be requested (e.g. a copy of the prescription).
  • If no proof of illness is provided then the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and could lead to a referral to the Education Welfare Service.
  • Where there is extended absence due to illness the school provides work for the child to do at home.

Missing in Education

If a child is absent for 10 consecutive days then the school has the responsibility to report this to the local authority in line with Prevent guidelines.

Registers

An accurate and consistent registration system is crucial if poor attendance and punctuality within the school is to be tackled. It is vital that pupils are aware that registration is a significant part of the school day.

All staff involved with the registration process should be aware that the law is very specific regarding the keeping of registers. Marking and keeping the register is of the utmost importance. Particular attention should be paid to accurate registration and preservation and security of the register.

Reviewing Attendance Levels

Termly and annual attendance figures are analysed by the head teacher and reported to governors through the head teacher’s report. Accurate reports about school attendance are contained in the school’s SEF.

Celebrating Attendance

Attendance and punctuality are celebrated each week at Royal Park.

It is shared in the school newsletter and is celebrated as part of the achievement assembly each week, where the winning class receives ‘Cyril the Squirrel’ and ‘Hurry Up Hedgehog’ for their achievement that week. Any class with 100% attendance also receive a class certificate.

At the end of each term children who have achieved 100% attendance for the whole term receive a certificate and associated reward (wrist bands, pencils, bookmarks, rosettes, trophies etc.)

Safeguarding

If a child on the child protection register is absent, the school must inform social services the same day.

If children are expected to be absent for long periods of time due to medical conditions, referrals to the Medical Needs Unit can be made.