There is a very clear and demonstrable link between good attendance at school and good educational outcomes. Also, when a child is absent or late to school, this causes disruption to the rest of the class and causes your child to fall behind.
It is a parent’s responsibility to ensure that their children receive a full time education. This is stated in Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act:
“The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him/her to receive efficient full-time education suitable to his/her age, ability and aptitude, and to any special educational needs he/she may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise”.
Regular attendance has been defined in law as meaning that a child must attend school every day. Unless your child cannot attend school due to an unavoidable cause or is too unwell to come to school, we expect your child to attend school every day, on time, on days when the school is open.
Schools can only authorise a pupil’s absence in exceptional circumstances, and being absent from school due to a family holiday will not be considered as an exceptional circumstance. We understand that family circumstances differ however, and we will consider every request for leave when the school is open on an individual basis. Please put your request in writing and address it to the Head of School/Headteacher for consideration. Further details are available from the School Office.
All head teachers must follow Department for Education guidance in relation to taking leave when schools are open, but it is the head teacher’s decision whether to accept any parental explanation for absence, and to mark an absence as authorised or unauthorised in registers. Please be aware that pupils arriving to school after the official close of registers will be marked as being ‘unauthorised absent’ unless there are legitimate reasons for your child’s late arrival.
Should your child be absent for unauthorised reasons, you will be issued with a warning letter and may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice. This is a penalty of £120, payable for each of your children that have been absent from school for unauthorised reasons. The penalty is payable by each parent.
Every day in school counts towards your child’s future. At De Beauvoir, we recognise that reading and phonics are key to children doing well across the curriculum and at De Beauvoir, these are taught between 9-10am every day. Continued lateness has a significant impact on children’s attainment and progress and 10 minutes lateness each day is equivalent to 6.5 days lost learning throughout the year.
At De Beauvoir, we open the doors at 8.45am for our Early Morning Work and soft start. School officially starts at 9.00am for all year groups.
- School register closes at 9.00am.
- Children arriving after 9.30am are classified as an ‘unauthorised’ unless evidence is provided for the school to authorise the lateness.
- Being late for school makes it hard for your child to learn. If they are 30 minutes late each day, they miss half a day of learning a week.
- Being late means missing out on important learning, children don’t have sufficient time to settle into class, it can be embarrassing for them and they disrupt the rest of the class.
It is very important that children attend school regularly to achieve continuity in the learning process. However, we realise there are occasions when your child may need to be absent.
There is a need to keep the school informed about your child’s absence and a decision is made whether the absence is ‘authorised’ or ‘unauthorised’ according to the legislation and guidance set by the DCSF.
- All absences must be authorised by the Head. Any unjustified or unexplained absences will be recorded as unauthorised in the register.
- The school should be notified of any infectious or contagious illness and the child should not return to school until the doctor has given consent for him/her to do so. Any absence should be explained either by telephone or a short note to the teacher on the child’s return. It is helpful to be notified of an absence likely to last more than two days at the at the beginning of the illness.
- Family holidays are not permitted during term times and planned absences must be applied for in writing to the school welfare office.
What constitutes good attendance?
Attendance percentages are not like examination results: an attendance percentage needs to be in the high nineties before it can be considered good. We grade attendance as follows:-
100% = excellent attendance
98% = very good attendance
96% = good attendance
Each year, a number of students in every year group achieve 100% attendance records, showing that this is an achievable target. In addition, a number of children have achieved this level of attendance in successive years.
Attendance figures below 90% are of real concern. Consider the following examples:-
90% is the equivalent to missing one day per fortnight which equates to missing half a year’s education during the course of Years 7-11
80% is the equivalent to missing one day per week which equates to missing one full year during the course of Years 7-11