Over the last few years there have been many discussions nationally about children attending school and the impact absence has on the child’s development and academic achievements. Some of this information is confusing and some parents never quite know what the impact of their child’s absence has on their attainment (what grades they get) and progress. This information sheet has therefore been produced to support all parents in making the right choices about school attendance.
Facts from the Authority
90% attendance during 1 school year = ½ day missed every week!
90% attendance during 1 school year = 1 day missed every other week!
90% attendance during 1 school year = 4 whole weeks of lessons missed!
90% attendance over 5 years of school = ½ a school year missed!
Research suggests that 17 missed school days a year = GCSE grade DROP in achievement. (DFE)
So what happens if your child is ill?
If your child is ill, you have a responsibility to inform the school of their illness by 8:30am each day for every day of illness. For those parents who do not contact the school, a text is sent from the Attendance team asking of the child’s whereabouts. If no response is gained, the parent will receive a phone call from our Learning Mentor, Mrs Tomkinson. If there has been no response after three days, on the advice of the Educational Social Worker a home visit will be made to the child that day and will continue to do so until a response is gained. A child’s welfare is paramount and everybody needs to know they are safe. If at any point we have concerns regarding a child’s safety then an immediate referral is made to the Educational Welfare Team.
A child should not return to school until they are fit and well.
What happens if your child’s attendance falls below a certain percentage?
If your child’s attendance falls below 95% our Attendance Team will monitor their attendance within school. The Attendance Team monitor and track attendance termly throughout the year. If you require any support with your child’s attendance please contact out Learning Mentor Mrs Tomkinson who will be happy to offer her support.
If your child’s attendance falls below 90% our Deputy Head Mrs Rahim will contact you to arrange a meeting to discuss the matter further.
The Educational Social Worker requests that they are informed of every child whose attendance falls below 85%. They will monitor the situation and then take action as and when required.
Any child whose attendance falls below 85% is regarded nationally as a child who has persistent absence. The government is very concerned with this and has invested heavily to monitor the attendance of these children. Schools have targets to reduce the levels of persistent absence and Educational Social Workers work closely with families to support them in getting their child to school each day. Each child and family will be given targets for attendance and these will be closely monitored by a range of agencies outside of school.
Leave of Absence during Term Time
Following changes to the Pupil Registration Regulation in September 2013 Headteachers will only grant leave of absence in exceptional circumstances. It is for school to decide what constitutes ‘exceptional circumstances’ and apply this consistently
All applications for leave of absence must be made in advance by the parent(s), carer(s) or corporate parent that the pupil normally resides with and Children’s Services have provided schools with a standard ‘Leave of Absence Request Form’
Leave of absence will not be granted during September to ensure that pupils have a settled start to the New Year nor in May and June when classes have their statutory assessments. Leave of absence will not be permitted in Year 6 and Year 2 when children have their SATs or when children have attendance below the National Expectation of 95%.
Exceptional Circumstances are still classified as absences and will still count towards your child’s attendance figure.
Sickness and holidays
A child who has been absent from school for 10 days in total due to illness and then takes ten days holiday from school may be classed as a persistent absence child due to the amount of time they are away from school. This applies to each new school year.
Bradford Council has a policy stating that where a child is absent from school for more than 20 consecutive days, due to extended leave, the school may remove that child’s name from the school register and offer that place to another child on the waiting list. Schools across Bradford do apply this rule.
If your child is late to school, a parent or carer must sign them in at the school office and a reason for your child’s lateness . If a reason is not provided or if your child arrives after the register has closed an unauthorised absent mark will be given.
Unless your child is receiving extensive dental treatment, all dentist appointments should be made out of the school day. Dental appointments during the school day will not be authorised.
Attend and Achieve!
If a school can improve attendance by 1%, they will see a 5-6% improvement in attainment. (DFE)
Please help us and your child by ensuring their attendance remains above 95%, allowing them to achieve their potential.