Date Accepted by Governors: Autumn 22 Review Date: Autumn 23
For distribution to: All school staff, governors, parents/carers, pupils and the area education inclusion officer
All West Surrey Foundation schools, along with other local schools and Surrey County Council, firmly believe that all pupils benefit from 100% school attendance. Full attendance at school is crucial for a child’s/student’s future life chances and establishes a positive work ethic early in life. To this end we will do all we can to encourage parents/carers to ensure their children achieve maximum possible attendance and that any problems that prevent full attendance are identified and acted on promptly. Pupils will be expected to achieve 100% attendance unless the absence is authorised by the headteacher or delegated person in school.
Further information on encouraging attendance and individual school procedures can be found in individual school policies and procedures which should be read in conjunction with this policy.
Parents/carers, whose children are of compulsory school age (5 to 16) and are registered at a school, are responsible for ensuring that their children attend school whenever it is open. If they do not do so they may be committing an offence under the Education Act 1996 and could be liable to prosecution or to be served with a penalty notice.
In line with the Education Regulations (Pupil Registration) Regulations 2006, all unexplained absences of 10 days or more are required to be reported to the Local Authority. In addition, schools are required to report all absence figures to the local authority and the Department for Education and to ensure they are recorded on a child’s/student’s annual report. Rates of absence are also taken into account by Ofsted as part of a school’s inspection.
We expect that all pupils will:
We expect that all parents/carers and persons who have day to day responsibility for the children will:
attend. Further information regarding your legal responsibilities can be found on the Surrey County Council website)
We expect that school staff will:
In order for this Attendance Policy to be successful, every member of staff in every school must make attendance a high priority and convey this to pupils at all times. Parents/carers should also need to support these views in the home to ensure that children are receiving corresponding messages about the value of education.
If a child is unfit for school, parents should contact the school on the each and every day of absence by 9.15am and every day thereafter either in person, completing an online absence form or by telephone. Absences will not be authorised without this procedure.
Other reasons for absence must be discussed with the school each time. Leave may be granted in an emergency (e.g. bereavement) An Absence Request Form for these absences should be completed in advance wherever possible.
DENTAL AND MEDICAL TREATMENTS
Parents/carers should book routine medical and dental appointments outside of the school day or during the school holidays. When appointments during school hours are unavoidable, the school should be notified of the date and time of the appointment and when the child will be collected and/or returned to school. Children should be taken out of school for the minimum amount of time. A Medical Absence Form should be completed along with evidence of the appointment. This can be an appointment card or text message. Appointments made where no evidence is provided will be mark as unauthorised.
PUPIL’S LEAVING DURING THE SCHOOL DAY
REQUEST FOR LEAVE OF ABSENCE DURING TERM TIME
No parent/carer can demand leave of absence during term-time for their child as a right and authorisation cannot be given retrospectively. Any absence from school has a disruptive effect on the children’s learning and social development and therefore permission for absence during term time is at the school’s discretion and will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.
If a family needs to request absence in term-time then the West Surrey Foundation Application for Leave of Absence in Exceptional Circumstances form must be completed and returned to school, at least two weeks prior to the leave date. The Headteacher, who may consult with the Chair of Governors, will then decide whether or not to authorise the absence requested. Each request will be considered separately and a decision made based on the reasons for each request.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE
No parent/carer can demand leave of absence during term-time for their child as a right and authorisation cannot be given retrospectively. Permission for absence during term time is at the headteachers discretion and will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.
The school holiday dates are published a year in advance and are available from the school
office and on the individual school websites. Family holidays need to be booked within the school holiday dates. The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 remove references to extended leave and holiday and make it clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Family holidays are not exceptional circumstances and so are deemed as “unauthorised leave of absence”. All exceptional leave of absence forms must be submitted in advance.
Family weddings or significant events
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 require Headteachers to determine the number of school days that a child can be away from school if leave is granted and this would be for a maximum of 3 days.
The aim for the attendance of Traveller pupils, in common with all other pupils, is to attend school 100% of the time.
To protect Traveller parents/carers from prosecution for failing to ensure regular attendance, the Education Act 1996, section 444, sub-section 6, states that a Traveller parent/carer is safe from prosecution if their pupil accrues 200 attendances (i.e. 200 half days or 100 full days) in a year. A Traveller absence code can therefore be used if a Traveller child is absent when their parent/carer is engaged in a trade or business of such a nature that requires them to travel from place to place. When travelling a parent/carer has the right to enrol their child at another school in the area they are engaged in their trade. Schools will require evidence that Traveller parents are travelling for work.
PUNCTUALITY AND LATENESS
Punctuality to school is crucial and for registration at the beginning of the day. Lateness into school causes disruption to that individual's learning and to that of the other pupils in the class. It is paramount therefore that all pupils arrive at school on time. The school grounds are open at 8.30am and the door open at 8.45.
We appreciate that sometimes unavoidable circumstances can happen and that this would mean a child being late into school. If there are exceptional circumstances which mean your child is going to be frequently late then this should be discussed with the Headteacher. The school will monitor children’s lateness and this will be looked at on an individual basis.
Children arriving late after registration:
Children arriving after 8.55am will be recorded as late after registration closes. The school will:
If a child is collected after 3.15pm KS1 /3.20pm KS2 the school will:
It is important that if families decide to send their child to a different school that they inform Ash Grange
Primary School as soon as possible. A pupil will not be removed from the school roll until the following information has been received and investigated:
The student's school records will then be sent to the new school. In the event that the school has not been informed of the above information, the family will be referred to the local authority Tracking Officer and Inclusion Service.
SEARCH GROUP ATTENDANCE
The law allows for the dual registration of pupils at more than one school. Surrey policy for children attending nurture groups expects dual registration in cases where the children do not register at their own schools.
Children attending SEARCh are generally collected from their own schools and transported to SEARCh and so should be registered at their own schools prior to them undertaking the journey and so dual registration is not necessary.
SEARCh group is based at St Paul's Infant School.
If there is a child who is taken directly to SEARCh group by parents/carers the child will be dual registered at both Ash Grange Primary School and St Paul's Infant School. Both schools will share responsibility for the child and failure to attend either school at the proper time without good reason will be unauthorised absence. The school where the child is expected to attend is responsible for accurately recording the pupil’s attendance and chasing up non-attendance. The school where the pupil is not expected to attend will record the child as D.
The Inclusion Service, acting on behalf of Surrey County Council, will issue a Penalty Notice as an alternative to the prosecution of a parent/carer for their child’s unauthorised absence from school and requires the recipient to pay a fixed amount.
The amount payable on issue of a Penalty Notice is £60 per parent per child, if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120 per parent per child, if paid after 21 days but within 28 days.
If the Penalty Notice is not paid within 28 days, the Local Authority must prosecute the parent/carer for failing to ensure regular school attendance under Section 444 Education Act 1996.
If prosecuted, you could receive a community order, a fine of up to £2,500 per parent/carer or a custodial sentence.
School Attendance Order
A parent who fails to ensure that their child receives an education other than at school and fails to register their child at a school will be served with an Attendance Order requiring them to register the child at a named school.
Failure to comply with an Attendance Order is an offence under Section 443 Education Act 1996.
Circumstances when a Penalty Notices may be issued
The Education (Pupil Registration)(England)(Amendment) Regulations 2013, which becomes law on 1st September 2013 state that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The Headteacher is required to determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if absence is granted.
With the exception of unauthorised leave taken in term time, parents will be sent a formal warning of their liability to receive such a notice before it is issued.
Parents will be reminded of this policy on a termly basis.
The school has a duty to make your child’s time at school interesting and worthwhile. Parents have a duty to make sure that their children attend. The school is committed to working with parents as the best way to ensure as high a level of attendance as possible. Parents/carers should encourage good punctuality and attendance at all times. They should endeavour to make all appointments and holidays outside of school time. They should inform the school immediately if their child is experiencing any difficulties with punctuality or attendance.
You will be informed of your child’s attendance with our school reporting system. This will give parents/carers an overall picture of the child’s attendance throughout the school year.
Incentives to encourage 100% attendance each month will be given to children at the end of each month. A special certificate for 100% attendance over the whole school year will be given at the end of the summer term. Also each week there will be an attendance motivator for each class e.g. certificates, class mascots etc.
All children’s attendance and punctuality is monitored and procedures are followed regardless of race, culture, gender, ability or religion.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
The school has an established culture that promotes and enhances the positive mental health of the whole school community, recognising that healthy relationships underpin positive mental health and have a significant impact on learning, health and wellbeing. We champion the expectation that ‘mental health is the individual’s responsibility supported by the whole school community.’