Most parents want their children to get on well in life. Children only get one chance at school, and their chance of a successful future may be affected by not attending school regularly. Poor attendees may not be able to keep up with school work or miss out on parts of the curriculum. This can affect their rate of progress and overall level of attainment. It’s not only the academic work: missing out on the social side of school life can affect children’s ability to make and keep friendships. Setting good attendance patterns from an early age will also help children later on at secondary school. Being on time is also vital. Arriving late at school can be very disruptive for the late child, the teacher and other children in the class.
- Attend school regularly and punctually.
- Attend school appropriately prepared for the day.
- Discuss with their class teacher any problems preventing them from attending school.
- Be ready to learn by 9:00am (this means quickly walking to classrooms and putting away coats, bags and other belongings).
- Perform their legal duty by ensuring their child of compulsory school age, who is registered at school, attends regularly.
- Ensure that their child arrives punctually by 8.55am and is prepared for the school day. (Please note the school gate opens at 8.40am and parents/carers are responsible for their child until they go through the school gates).
- Take children to the school office if arriving after 8.55am to sign them in.
- Contact the school whenever the child is unable to attend school on 01293 529006 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Inform the school by 9.30am, at the very latest, on the first day of the child's absence.
- Inform the school of the reason for absence by phone/letter/email.
- Contact the school whenever any problems occur that may keep the child away from school.
- Book family holidays during school holidays.
- Arrange wherever possible for medical appointments to be made outside school hours and provide the school office with a copy of the letter or appointment notice. If this is unavoidable, then the child should be removed from school for the minimum amount of time possible. Please note that the time out of school will affect their overall annual attendance figure.
- Complete a ‘Request from School in Exceptional Circumstances’ form in advance of any time being taken out of school.
- Promote good school attendance and provide a safe and welcoming learning environment.
- Keep regular and accurate records of attendance and monitor all pupils’ attendance.
- Contact the parents or carers as soon as possible when there is unexplained or irregular absence.
- Liaise with the Pupil Entitlement: Investigation (PEI) team over absence issues.
- Cooperate with the Local Authority if the issuing of a penalty notice (fine) or a court prosecution, is required.
- Keep parents informed about attendance issues and report annually to them on their child’s attendance record.
- Work with other local schools and agencies to improve attendance.
- Keep to DfE and local authority guidelines.
- Inform the Pupil Entitlement: Investigation (PEI) team of attendance and persistent absence data reports as required throughout the academic year and make available for Ofsted, as required.
- Be aware that Ofsted will review attendance and punctuality
- Consider referring a pupil to the Pupil Entitlement: Investigation team for legal action if there are 10 unauthorised sessions in a 10 week period.
- Work in line with Crawley Schools’ Attendance and Punctuality Policy where possible.
Absence from Learning
The school strongly advises parents and carers to encourage good attendance in order to minimise any disruption to their child’s education. Holiday absence will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances. Exceptional is likely to be rare, significant, unavoidable and short. Whether the absence is exceptional is at the Headteacher’s discretion. The DfE guidance and legal regulations do not allow schools to give retrospective approval. If a ‘Request for Absence from School in Exceptional Circumstances’ form is not completed in advance, the absence must be recorded as unauthorised. The procedure for requesting absence from learning will be:
- The parent or carer will obtain a "Request for absence from school in exceptional circumstances" form from the school office or website prior to the absence.
- The parent or carer will fill in and return the form to the school office, prior to the absence, which should include a full explanation of why the request is exceptional.
- The Headteacher will decide whether to authorise the absence in line with this policy, local guidelines and DfE guidelines. The Headteacher will consider:
- The form and any letters from the parent or carer.
- The age of the pupil.
- The time of year proposed for the absence (and the impact on the planned curriculum and assessment).
- The nature of the absence and the parental wishes.
- The overall attendance pattern of the pupil.
- The pupil’s stage of education and progress.
- The Headteacher may request to meet the parent(s) to discuss the form. The Headteacher will return the form (signed by the Headteacher or the Deputy in the Headteacher’s absence) to the parent or carer, indicating whether authorisation is given.
- The Headteacher has the authority to authorise absences that are unavoidable at short notice (e.g. a funeral).
The school will ensure that parents are well-informed about attendance issues through:
- Communications with parents e.g. letters/newsletters and electronic mail to parents, school website, phone calls and/or individual meetings with the Pastoral Lead
- Publications such as the Prospectus.
- Parent consultation evenings (as appropriate).
- End of Year School reports (more detail if concerns are evident).
The school will encourage good school attendance and use incentives where appropriate. The school will work with individual pupils and their families where absence is an issue to give one-to-one support, advice and incentives to improve motivation to attend school.
School Organisation and Procedures (For school use only)
School staff will:
- Open the school gates (KS1 gate and KS2 gate) promptly at 8.40am and welcome children onto the school site. (Staff should ask the school office / premises officer if they do not know the code to the gate combination padlocks)
- Close the school gate as soon after 8.55am as is safe to do so. Children who are within sight of the school gate, even if it is after 8.55am should be let in. The member of staff on duty should ensure that someone locks the gate.
- Direct or take children arriving after 8.55am to the school office to be signed in.
- Keep regular and accurate records of attendance for all pupils twice a day. The register should be taken between 9.00am and 9.10am in the morning and 1.00pm and 1.10pm after lunch.
- Inform the office of any reasons for absence if known e.g. holiday, medical or illness – preferably via CPOMS.
- Inform the office or Pastoral Lead of any unexplained lateness or absence that needs further follow up – preferably via CPOMS.
- Be alert to, and report to the Head/Deputy, the early signs of disaffection which could result in non-attendance.
- Inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputy DSL(s) of any unexplained lateness or absence that warrants serious concern or requires further investigation within the school and ensure this is recorded on CPOMS.
The only exception to this is that we don't phone parents every day in certain circumstances, i.e. if they have phoned the day before and explained that their child/ren are very ill or if they have sickness and/or diarrhoea as we would expect them to be off for a minimum of 48 hours in this case anyway.
The Pastoral Lead will:
- Liaise with the school office, teachers and SLT about attendance
- Develop resources and strategies to support and improve attendance
- Meet and greet pupils on the school gate where necessary
- Work with parents and carers to encourage good attendance
- Support office staff in following up unexplained lateness or absence
- Review lateness and absence records of children.
- Refer to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) if no explanation or satisfactory response regarding the child’s absence has been received.
- Inform the Head/Deputy of any unexplained lateness or absence that warrants serious concern or requires further investigation within the school.
- Liaise with other schools and agencies for support/advice and to share good practice.
For information about the role of the LA, including Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) and please visit: