Covid related pupil absence - quick reference
Attendance expectations from the DFE - September 2020
In March, when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was increasing, we made clear no parent would be penalised or sanctioned for their child’s non-attendance at school.
Now the circumstances have changed, it is vital for all children to return to school to minimise, as far as possible, the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development.
Missing out on more time in the classroom risks pupils falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less well in both primary and secondary school. School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term. This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:
- parents’ duty to secure that their child attends regularly at school where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age
- schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
- the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct
Please see reopening risk assessment with staggered timings to support full school opening
It is vitally important that your child is in school on time every day.
The School doors open from 8.45am where you will always be greeted by a member of staff.
Registration begins at 8.50 a.m. If you arrive after 9.00 a.m. you must enter via the office and your child will receive a late mark. Registration closes at 9.15 a.m. and if you arrive after this time it will be recorded as an unauthorised absence
100%: Exceptional attendance
96% - 99%: Government expected attendance
91% - 95%: Serious risk of underachievement
0% - 90%: Persistent absence - possible fixed penalty fine and court action
There are important steps you can take to ensure your child reaches their full potential:
- Ensure your child comes to school every day, on time, fully equipped and ready to learn
- Contact the school on the first, and all following days, if your child is absent for any reason
- Provide the school with an explanatory note following an illness or absence from school if you have failed to contact us by telephone
- Ensure all medical, optician and dental appointments are made, where possible, after school or in holiday time. If this is not possible then please ensure they are made as late in the day as possible so that your child misses the minimum amount of lessons
- Ensure the school has up to date addresses, email and contact numbers for you and any alternative contacts
The school's role in maintaining good attendance
We send out regular letters to all our parents with information on your child's attendance and details of any late sessions
We keep a very close eye on all of our children's attendance and if there is any cause for concern you will be asked to attend a meeting to discuss the matter in detail to see if we can put any help in place for you
Our Headteacher, Mrs Pietrzak, runs regular Attendance Clinics where you can come into school to discuss your child's attendance on a one-to-one basis
Our Parent Support Advisor, Kathy Gare, is always available with sound advice and a friendly ear to help with any parenting issues you may be experiencing
We also have a school nurse who is available to answer any medical questions you have regarding your child and whether or not they need to be absent from school
We award our children who have high attendance - Each term Gold Certificates are issued for children with 100% attendance and parents are invited to a special Celebration Assembly to see the certificate being awarded.
If your child is in each and every school day for the entire year then you will be invited to Mrs P's Tea Party at the end of the Summer Term to celebrate this amazing achievement with your child.
Only genuine absence will be authorised. You will be required to provide medical evidence/certificates if your child has a poor attendance record.
We can no longer authorise any family holidays in term time unless under exceptional circumstances. Please be aware that holidays taken during term time may result in the issue of a fixed penalty notice of £60 per child per parent. Failure to pay the fine will result in court action.