Melanie Jago is our Safeguarding, Attendance & Medical Officer. Part of her role is to improve attendance and follow up absences from school through home visits.
If you have any concerns about your child’s attendance you can come and ask to speak to Mel, if she is not in school an appointment will be arranged for you. Otherwise you can contact Mel on 07458 105645 either call, text or via WhatsApp. Her email address is [email protected]
As attendance is statutory, we all have a duty to ensure that children are in school every day (unless of course they are very ill). Mel hopes to work with you in making this possible. Hopefully, by supporting families to ensure that children are attending school regularly, there will be fewer referrals to the Education Welfare.
HOW YOUR CHILD’S ATTENDANCE IS MONITORED
We look at the percentage of your child’s attendance, which will fall into the following zones:
* Green Zone – between 96% – 100% attendance – no action required.
Mel will contact parents whose child’s attendance is 96% or under to find out if we can support in improving the attendance.
* Amber Zone – 91% – 95% attendance – you will receive a letter to inform you that your child’s attendance has fallen into the amber zone. Absences will not be authorised below 90% without medical evidence.
* Red Zone – below 90% attendance, this will automatically trigger a meeting or a visit from our Attendance Officer. Absences will not be authorised for pupils whose attendance falls into the red zone without some medical evidence. A child whose attendance is below 90% is classed by the government as a persistent absentee.
Ongoing irregular attendance is a factor often linked to low levels of academic success; each half term and term, parents will receive a letter to advise them of their child’s attendance if is it in either the red or amber zone.
TEXT MESSAGING SERVICE
We use a text messaging service to contact you when your child is not at school. If your child is absent and we haven’t been informed why, we will send you a text message. You will be able to reply to the text message to advise why your child is away from school. If you do not have a mobile telephone, we will continue to contact you by telephone or letter if necessary. It is very important to keep the school informed of any changes in your contact details as soon as possible.
Please remember that unless your child is ill, they should be in school every day. Please let the school know as soon as possible if your child is unable to come into school.
Some reasons for absence cannot be authorised (according to government guidelines). Examples of these are:
The parent/carer is ill, or has a hospital appointment and there is no one to bring the child to school.
The parent/carer doesn’t think the school is open.
If your child continues to be absent due to illness we may refer him/her to the school nurse. We will also request that you provide medical evidence so that the absence can be authorised.
Mel will be monitoring your child’s attendance and making regular contact in order to support you to make improvements with your child’s attendance. If no improvements are made, then unfortunately the school has no option but to refer you to the Education Welfare to take further action, which may include a penalty notice or prosecution.
Penalty notices are fines between £60 and £120 imposed on each parent of the individual child. Penalty notices may be used where a pupil’s absence has not been authorised by the school. It is therefore very important that you keep us informed of the reason if your child is absent and that no periods of unauthorised leave are taken.
Following government guidelines, headteachers cannot grant any leave of absence unless in exceptional circumstances (refer to attendance policy). Therefore holidays can no longer be authorised.
If a leave of absence for the purpose of a holiday is taken it will be unauthorised.
The regulations do not allow schools to give approval after the leave of absence has been taken. Therefore any leave of absence that has not been applied for in advance will be unauthorised.
All unauthorised holidays will be referred to Education Welfare Service which could result in the issuing of a Penalty Notice or prosecution.
Penalty Notices are set at £60 per parent if paid by 21 days and £120 per parent if paid between 22 and 28 days. Any legal proceedings would relate to section 444(1) or 444(1A) of the Education Act 1996.
REWARDS FOR GOOD ATTENDANCE
Individual certificates and prizes are given to children for good attendance.
Classes with the best punctuality and attendance have a special visit out of school such as breakfast at our local community centre.
The class with the best attendance of the week is given a certificate and the class is awarded prizes.
Finally, please help us to help your child by sending him/her to school every day. Every lesson counts. Even a short amount of time away from school will cause your child to fall behind in their work and it will make it difficult for them to catch up. Remember, as a parent or legal guardian you are legally responsible for making sure your child attends school every day.
Further Information About Attendance
- Please read our school information leaflet on attendance – Attendance Matters Leaflet
- If you would like a paper copy of our Attendance Policy, please ask at the school office.
- For further information about the Government’s guidance on improving school attendance, please read the Department of Education’s document Working Together to Improve School Attendance