WAUN WEN    PRIMARY SCHOOL

ATTENDANCE POLICY

 

Article 28

“You have the right to an education”

“UN convention on the Rights of the child”

We are a “Rights respecting school”

Introduction:

Waun Wen Primary is a successful school and every child plays their part in making it so. We aim for an environment which enables and encourages all members of the community to ‘Happily Achieve Together’. For our children to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and each child should be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.

It is very important therefore that parents/guardians make sure that their child/ren attend regularly and this Policy sets out how together we will achieve this.

Why Regular Attendance is so important:

Learning: – Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning. Any child’s absence disrupts teaching routines which may affect the learning of others in the same class. Ensuring a child’s regular attendance at school is the legal responsibility of parents/guardians and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law and may result in prosecution.

 

Safeguarding: – Your child may be at risk of harm if they do not attend school regularly. Safeguarding the interests of each child is everyone’s responsibility and within the context of this school, promoting the welfare and life opportunities for each child encompasses:‑

Attendance

Behaviour Management

Health and Safety

Access to the Curriculum

Anti- bullying

Restorative Practice

Failing to attend this school on a regular basis will be considered as a safeguarding matter.

 

 

Promoting Regular Attendance:

Helping to create a pattern of regular attendance is everybody’s responsibility –parents/guardians, children, all members of school staff and the Governing body.

To help us all to focus on this we will:

  • Report to you every term on how your child is performing in school, comment on their attendance and punctuality rate and how this relates to their attainments.
  • Send regular reminders of the importance of good attendance in newsletters

m  Celebrate good and/or improving attendance by giving stickers and badges and prizes during whole school assemblies.

The Law relating to attendance

Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 states that ‘the parent of every child ofcompulsory school age shall cause him / her to receive efficient full time education suitable: –

(a)   to age, ability and aptitude and

(b)   to any special educational needs he/ she may have

Either by regular attendance at school or otherwise’

The Law relating to safeguarding

Section 175 of the Education Act 2002 places a duty on local authorities and governing bodies to have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State with regard to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and students under the age of 18.

Understanding types of absence:

Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school (not by parents/guardians), as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required, in writing or over the telephone.

Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason like illness, medical/dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, days of religious observance, emergencies or other unavoidable cause. In the case of persistent illnesses, you may be asked to provide medical evidence.

Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no “leave” has been given. This type of absence can lead to the school using sanctions and/or legal proceedings.

This includes:

  • Parents/guardians keeping children off school unnecessarily
  • truancy before or during the school day
  • absences which have never been properly explained
  • children who arrive at school too late to get a mark
  • shopping, looking after other children or birthdays

day trips and holidays in term time (other than in exceptional circumstances).

Whilst any child may be off school because they are ill, sometimes they can be reluctant to attend school. Any problems with regular attendance are best sorted out between the school, the parents/guardians and the child. If a child is reluctant to attend, it is never better to cover up their absence or to give in to pressure to excuse them from attending. This gives the impression that attendance does not matter and usually make things worse.

Persistent Absenteeism:

A child becomes a ‘persistent absentee’ when they miss 20% or more schooling across the school year for whatever reason. Absence at this level is doing considerable damage to any child’s educational prospects and we need parents/guardians fullest support and co-operation to tackle this.

We monitor all absence thoroughly. Any case that is seen to have reached the 20% mark or is at risk of moving towards that mark is given priority and you will be informed of this immediately.

Children are tracked and monitored carefully through our system and we also combine this with academic monitoring where absence affects attainment.

All our children and their parents/guardians in this category will be automatically made known to the Educational Welfare officer.

 

Penalty Notice Statement

 

The Welsh Government (WG) Education (Penalty Notice, Wales) Regulations 2013 states that Local Authorities (LAs), are required by law to adhere to the Education Act 1996, section 444, to include penalty notices as one of the interventions to promote better school attendance.

 

Sections 444A and 444B of the Education Act 1996 provide that certain cases of unauthorised absences can be dealt with by way of a penalty notice. A penalty notice is a fine of up to £120.00 and may be issued to a parent/carer as a result of a child’s regular non-attendance at school/educational provision.

 

The school adheres to the code of conduct for penalty notices as issued by ERW and agreed by your Local Authority, and therefore may request the local authority to issue a penalty notice in certain cases.

 

If your child is absent you must:

Contact us as soon as possible on the first day of absence;

If your child is absent we will:

  • Telephone you on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you.
  • If a child’s attendance falls below the 85% mark the school will refer the child to the Education Welfare officer who will contact parents/guardians either by telephone or make a home visit.

Please remember we strive to work as a team to improve children’s attendance and resolve any issues and concerns by working with each other in the best interests of the child.

Telephone numbers:

There are times when we need to contact parents about lots of things, including absence, so we need to have up to date contact numbers at all times. It is the parents/Guardians responsibility to ensure contact details are always up to date. There will be regular checks on telephone numbers throughout the year.

The Education Welfare Officer:

Parents are expected to contact school at an early stage and to work with the staff in resolving any problems together. This is nearly always successful. If difficulties cannot be sorted out in this way, the school may refer the child to the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) He/she will also try to resolve the situation by agreement but, if other ways of trying to improve the child’s attendance have failed and unauthorized absences persist, these Officers can use sanctions or prosecutions in the Magistrates Court. Full details of the options open to enforce attendance at school are available from the school. Alternatively, parents or children may wish to contact the EWO themselves to ask for help or information.

They are independent of the school and will give impartial advice. Their telephone number is available from the school office.

 

 

 

Lateness:

Poor punctuality is not acceptable. If a child misses the start of the day they can miss work and do not spend time with their class teacher getting vital information and news for the day. Late arriving pupils also disrupt lessons, can be embarrassing for the child and can also encourage absence.

How we manage lateness:

The school day starts at 8.45am and we expect all children to be in the playground by that time.

Registers are marked by 9.15am and your child will receive a late mark if they are not in by that time.

At 9:30am the registers will be closed. In accordance with the Regulations, if your child arrives after that time they will receive a mark that shows them to be on site, but this will not count as a present mark and it will mean they have an unauthorised absence. This may mean that you could face the possibility of a penalty notice or intervention by the EWO.

If your child has a persistent late record you will be asked to meet with the Head, teacher and/or EWO to resolve the problem, but parents/guardians can approach us at any time if you are having problems getting your child to school on time.

 

 

Holidays in Term Time:

Taking holidays in term time will affect your child’s schooling as much as any other absence and we expect parents/guardians to help us by not taking children away in school time.

Remember that any savings you think you may make by taking a holiday in school time are offset by the cost to your child’s education.

There is no automatic entitlement in law to time off in school time to go on holiday.

Holiday absence will not be authorised except in exceptional circumstances.

If parents are determined to take their children on holiday we expect a Home School Contract to be completed before hand. This contract is available from and should be returned to the school office

 

 

School targets, projects and special initiatives

 

The school has targets to improve attendance and your child has an important part to play in meeting these targets.

 

The target level of attendance for this school is 94% but we want to achieve better than this because we know that good attendance is the key to successful learning and we want our children to be the best that they can be.

 

 

 

 

Dare of review   September 2014                        P T Williams

Headteacher

 

 

Date of review   September 2014                       B Harris

Chair of Governors

 

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