Attendance Policy

The staff of Regina Coeli Catholic Primary School is committed, in partnership with the parents, pupils, governors and the Local education Authority, to building a school which serves the community commendably, and of which the community is proud.

The school staff, alongside the LEA, firmly believes that all pupils benefit from regular school attendance. To this end we will do all we can to encourage parents/carers to ensure that the children in their care achieve maximum possible attendance and that any problems that prevent full attendance are identified and acted on promptly.

Expectations

We expect that all pupils will:

  • Attend school regularly;
  • Attend school punctually;
  • Attend school appropriately prepared for the day;
  • Discuss promptly with their class teacher any problems that deter them from attending school.

We expect that all parents/carers/persons who have day-to-day responsibility for the children will:

  • Encourage regular school attendance and be aware of their legal responsibilities;
  • Ensure that the child/children in their care arrive at school punctually, prepared for the school day;
  • Ensure that they contact the school whenever the child/children is unable to attend school;
  • Contact the school on the first day of absence, then each day thereafter and send a note when they return;
  • Contact the school promptly whenever any problem occurs that may keep the child away from school. This may include emotionally based school refusal issues or bullying.

We expect that all staff will:

  • Keep regular and accurate records of attendance for all pupils, at least twice daily;
  • Monitor every pupils’ attendance;
  • Contact parents as soon as possible when a pupil fails to attend where no message has been received to explain the absence;
  • Follow up all unexplained absences to obtain notes authorising the absence;
  • Encourage good attendance;
  • Provide a welcoming atmosphere for children;
  • Provide a safe learning environment;
  • Provide a sympathetic response to any pupil’s concerns and inform the Headteacher of any issues affecting punctuality or attendance. The Headteacher will then ensure that the most appropriate form of support is provided.
  • Ensure that any bullying is investigated and sanctions carried out as recorded in the Behaviour Policy.
  • Make initial enquiries of parents/carers of pupils who are not attending regularly, express their concern and clarify the school’s and the LEA’s expectations with regard to regular attendance;
  • The LA has a duty under the 2002 Education Act and the Local Authority in the 2004 Children Act to promote and safeguard the welfare of children. Children who are not on a school roll and attending regularly are vulnerable and at risk of significant harm.
  • Refer irregular or unjustified patterns of attendance to the Education Welfare Service;
  • Meet, where possible, the requirements of the UN Convention – The Rights of the Child, by ensuring that children are consulted in all decisions that relate to them.

Holidays

It is clear that term time holidays have a negative impact on school attendance figures as well as disadvantaging individual pupils.

The School holiday dates are published well in advance and we strongly advise parents/carers to book their family holidays during the school holidays.

If a family holiday in term time is unavoidable the parent must write to the Headteacher explaining why. The Headteacher will then decide whether or not to authorise the absences using the following criteria when considering a request for a leave of absence for family holidays:

  • It is not during an examination period
  • It is not in Year 6
  • The pupil has 100% attendance and good punctuality record so far in year
  • The family has not made a previous request
  • Pupil’s work and conduct are of an acceptable standard

Headteachers, on behalf of the Governors, can grant leave, at their discretion, for up to two weeks in any school year. No parents/carers can demand leave of absence for their child/children as a right.

If parents take children on holiday in term time without authorisation from the school they are referred to the Education Welfare officer who informs the LEA. This may then result in the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice.

Encouraging Attendance

Regina Coeli Catholic Primary School encourages regular attendance in the following ways:

  • By providing a caring and welcoming learning environment;
  • By  responding promptly to a child’s or parents concerns about the school or other pupils;
  • By marking registers accurately and punctually during morning and afternoon registration.  If pupils arrive after the close of the register without a written explanation, the lateness will be recorded.  Persistent lateness will be investigated with a letter sent from the Headteacher;
  • By publishing attendance statistics from the Headteacher;
  • By reminders in the Headteacher’s weekly newsletter;
  • Provide an excellent standard of teaching;
  • Ensure that pupils’ welfare is at the heart of all policies and procedures;
  • By monitoring pupils, informing parents/carers in writing of irregular attendance, arranging meetings with them if necessary and referring the family to the Education Welfare Service if the irregular attendance continues.

Responding to concerns

When a pupil does not attend school we will respond in the following manner:

  • All parents are expected to report their child’s absence on the first day.
  • If there has been no contact by the parent, the school will telephone home and if still no contact made, the school will send a letter of concern regarding attendance.
  • Should there be no response to the letter to explain the absence the School is required to inform their Education Welfare Officer.
  • Failure to comply with the expectations set by the EWO may result in further action. e.g  Fixed Penalty Notice or Court action.

Changing Schools

It is important that if families decide to send the child/children in their care to a different school that they inform Regina Coeli School staff as soon as possible.  A pupil will not be removed from this school roll until the following information has been received:

  • The date the pupil will be leaving this school and starting the next;
  • The name and address of the new school;
  • The new home address, if it is known.
  • The pupil’s school records will then be sent on to the new school as soon as possible.  In the event that the school has not been informed of the above information, the family will be referred to the Education Welfare Service and reported as a child missing education.

Monitoring Attendance

Regina Coeli School staff will monitor pupil attendance in the following ways:

  • Accurate completion of registers by school staff, including using appropriate codes for absence and any concerns passed on to the Headteacher.
  • Class Teachers will follow up on unauthorised absence by reminding the pupil about letters from their parent/carer.
  • Admin staff will follow up pupils where unauthorised absence continues to be unexplained.
  • Registers will be monitored termly by the Headteacher and concerns will be addressed by sending a letter to the parent/carer.
  • Unresolved concerns will be passed on to the Education Welfare Officer.

Monitoring Punctuality

It is important that children arrive at school in time for registration at 08.55.  If you know that your child will be late, please advise the school office by telephone, fax or email.  If your child arrives at school after 08.55, he/she must report to the school office so that he/she may be registered.  This is a vital part of health and safety in school.  The school register’s close at 09.30, therefore, if your child arrives after this time he/she will be marked as absent.  You will need to provide an absence note if your child arrives after this time.

It is essential that all children are promptly collected at the end of the school day (15.15).  If you are going to be late due to unforeseen circumstances, please contact the school office by telephone so that a message can be passed to your child to avoid any unnecessary distress.  If your child is persistently collected late, the school will write to you, requesting improvement.  If the situation does not improve, a referral to the Education Welfare Officer will be made and may result in a Fixed Penalty Notice.