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Wessex Gardens Primary & Nursery School

Wessex Gardens Primary & Nursery School

Attendance and Punctuality

Introduction                 

At Wessex Gardens Primary & Nursery School we strongly believe that every child has the right to an education. We remind parents and carers that is their legal responsibility to ensure their child attends school and arrives punctually.

We celebrate the classes that achieve the highest attendance percentage each week, and award a certificate to any child whose attendance is 100% at the end of each half term, term and academic year.

We expect children to attend school every day, unless they are ill, to ensure that they can take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them by law. Wessex Gardens Primary & Nursery School fully recognises its responsibilities to ensure that children are in school on time, so that they have access to learning for the maximum number of days and hours.

Our attendance strategy adhere to the relevant Children Acts, Education Acts, Regulations and Guidance from the Department for Education in addition to guidance from the Local Authority.

Our Attendance Guide to Parents / Carers provides information on our expectations and provides information on how we support families to ensure that children's attendance is excellent. 

Although parents/carers have the legal responsibility for their child’s attendance, we work together with other professionals and agencies to ensure that all children are encouraged and supported to have excellent attendance.

Children who are persistently late or absent fall behind with their learning, and they frequently develop small or large gaps in their learning that impacts on their progress and their ability to meet age related learning expectations.  A child whose attendance drops to 90% each year will, over their time at primary school, have missed two whole terms of learning.

Aims and Objectives                    

The school’s attendance policy ensures that all staff and governors are fully aware of, and clear about, the actions necessary to promote excellent attendance.

Through the policy and guide we aim to:

  • Promote a positive and welcoming atmosphere in which pupils feel safe, secure, and valued, and encourage children to take responsibility of their attendance and punctuality.
  • We celebrate the classes that achieve the highest attendance percentage each week, and award a certificate to any child whose attendance is 100% at the end of each half term, term and academic year.Improve children's progress to achieve high levels of attendance and punctuality.
  • Achieve a minimum of 96% attendance for all children.
  • Create an ethos in which excellent attendance and punctuality is expected and valued by everyone in the school community.
  • Raise awareness to parents, carers and children of the importance of uninterrupted attendance and punctuality at every stage of a child’s education.
  • Ensure that our policy applies to all children, including nursery and reception, to promote good habits at an early age.
  • Work in partnership with children, parents, staff and the Education Welfare Service so that all pupils realise their potential, unhindered by unnecessary absences.
  • Ensure that the approach to monitoring attendance is consistent, and difficulties are identified and overcome at an early stage
  • Support children's medical needs in our school approach
  • Establish a method of monitoring attendance to detect patterns of absences
  • Recognise the key role of all staff, especially class teachers, to promote excellent attendance.

We maintain and promote excellent attendance and punctuality through:

  • Raising awareness of attendance and punctuality issues among all staff, parents and families.
  • Ensuring that parents/carers have an understanding of the responsibility placed on them for making sure their child attends school every day and arrives on time.
  • Equipping children with the life skills needed to take responsibility for excellent school attendance and punctuality appropriate to the child’s age and development.
  • Maintaining effective means of communication with parents, children, staff and governors on school attendance matters.
  • Developing and implementing procedures for identifying, reporting and reviewing cases of poor attendance and persistent lateness.
  • Supporting children who have been experiencing difficulties at home or at school to improve their attendance.
  • Developing and implementing procedures to follow up non-attendance at school.

Attendance Monitoring

It is very important that parents/carers notify us at the beginning of each day if their child is too ill to attend school.  If we have received any information by 9.30 am we will contact the parent/carer to ask for information about their child's absence.

We monitor attendance to support children's learning. Should a child’s attendance begin to cause concern we will contact the parent/carer so that we can work together to improve their child's attendance.  

We notify parents/carers by letter if their child’s attendance falls below 96%, and we will ask that you provide evidence for future absences either in the form of an appointment card for a doctor or hospital, bring any medication that has been prescribed into school or alternatively you can bring your child to school and, if we agree that your child should not attend school, we will authorise the absence.

Attendance patterns below 96% are referred to the Education Welfare Officer who, together with the school, will support the family to improve the child’s attendance.

Term time leave

Any plan to remove a child from school during term time must first be discussed with the school.  Please note that we do not authorise any leave during term time except for exceptional circumstances.

Failure to inform the school of a child’s whereabouts could result in the child being reported as missing from education to the local authority. This may also lead to the withdrawal of your child’s place at Wessex Gardens Primary & Nursery School.

Fixed Penalty Notice (£60 fine increasing to £120 if not paid within 21 days)

In accordance with Local Authority guidance we employ a system of fines that may be issued to each parent/carer as a result of taking a child out of school without permission.  Fixed Penalty Notices may be issued:

  • If term time leave is taken without consultation and / or permission
  • If a child’s attendance falls below 90% in any half term period.
  • If a child frequently arrives late after the register has closed.