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Attendance & Punctuality

Aims

Crampton Primary School is committed to providing a welcoming, caring environment, whereby each member of the school community feels wanted and secure. We believe that all pupils benefit from education and from regular and punctual attendance and good behaviour. We recognise that good attendance correlates with high levels of achievement and pupils need to attend school regularly and punctually if they are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. Crampton Primary School is therefore committed to every pupil achieving the maximum possible attendance at school.

 

Expectations

 We expect that children will:

  •  Attend school regularly
  • Arrive on time and be appropriately prepared for the school day
  • Feel able to tell a member of staff about any problem that is making it hard for them to attend school.

 

We expect that all parents / carers will:

  • Ensure their child/ren attend school every day and arrive in good time for the start of the school day ready to start their learning.
  • Contact the school by 9.30am on the first day of their child’s absence and everyday thereafter unless it is known how long their child will be off
  • Ensure that their child arrives at school fully prepared for the school day and check that they have completed their homework
  • Provide the school with up-to-date home, work and emergency contact numbers
  • Not arrange family holidays to take place during the school term
  • Inform the school in confidence about any problem which might affect their child’s attendance, punctuality or behaviour
  • To keep the school fully informed during long – term absence
  • To support the school in its aim to raise achievement of the children through full attendance and punctuality at school
  • Ensure your child’s regular attendance at school is a parents/carer’s legal responsibility (section 444 of the 1996 Education Act) and permitting absence from school that is not authorised by the school creates an offence in law.

 

Parents and carers can expect that the school will:

  •  Record their child’s attendance regularly, accurately and efficiently
  • Make every reasonable effort to contact the child’s parent or carer when their child fails to attend school without good reason
  • Deal discreetly and properly with any problem notified to the school by the parent or carer
  • Make all efforts to encourage regular attendance and excellent punctuality
  • Instigate proper enquiries before removing the child from the school roll
  • To have clear communication routes to discuss any difficulties which may prevent children from attending school and being on time
  • To seek ways to encourage good attendance and punctuality, on partnership with the parent or carer, including using reward systems
  • Ensure all families, children, staff and governors are familiar with our policy and procedures

 

Promoting a positive attitude to Attendance and Punctuality

 

We will encourage good attendance by:

  •  Accurately completing attendance registers at the beginning of each session
  • Following up absence on the first day
  • Undertaking regular attendance checks
  • Informing parents and carers if the child’s attendance is cause for concern
  • Reminding parents and carers at the beginning of the school year and at regular intervals of the importance of building a good
  • record in attendance, which will feature on the child’s end of year report
  • Teaching children to value good attendance, and praising them when there is an improvement in attendance particularly where there has been a problem in the past
  • Rewarding perfect and good attendance for classes and individuals 

 

Term time Leave

 

From 1st June 2014, the local authority (Southwark Council) introduced Penalty Notices to families in cases of unauthorised absence e.g. Holidays taken during term time.

 

The Head Teacher has the discretion to authorise a short period of absence; when making a decision the following will be taken into consideration:

  •  Attendance over 90%
  • Punctuality 
  • Number of absences 
  • Circumstances for request

 

A Southwark produced application form, available from main reception, must be completed to request term time absence and returned to school. The parent will be informed of the decision taken.

 

Registration Procedures

 

 

The current school times due to Covid-19 restrictions

Year Group(s)

Start of school day

(Arrival after the start of the school day and the closure of the morning register will be recorded as a late arrival)

Morning Register Closed

(Arrival after the closure of the morning register will be recorded as an unauthorised lateness)

End of school day

Reception

08.45

09.15

14.45

Years 1 to 5

08.55

09.25

15.15

Year 6

08.30

09.00

14.30

 

  • Registration takes place at the beginning of the morning and afternoon sessions.
  • The Head Teacher and Home School Liaison Officer will regularly check the attendance of all pupils together to provide regular reports on the schools attendance and punctuality statistics.
  • The Home School Liaison Officer will complete on and off rolling procedures
  • The Home School Liaison Officer will ensure that reasons for absence or lateness are communicated  to the relevant people either verbally or recorded on the computerised registration system

 

Authorising Absences

 

By law, only the school can authorise absences, not a parent or guardian

An authorised absence is when a parent or carer phones, comes in person to the school or when a pupil brings in a note AND the school finds the reason acceptable. An unauthorised absence is when no note or phone call is received or the reason given is not acceptable by the school.

 

Absence for the following reasons would normally be authorised

  •  Illness
  • Medical or dental appointments
  • Days of religious observance
  • School Journey
  • Temporary Exclusion
  • Permanent Exclusion while review or appeal is in process
  • Attendance at a Pupils Referral Unit (PRU)
  • Interviews / Visits to secondary school
  • Exceptional Circumstances e.g. bereavement
  • Absence due to other circumstances may be authorised at the discretion of the Head Teacher

 

Absences for the following reasons would not normally be authorised

  • Minding the house
  • Looking after other children
  • Shopping trips
  • Forgetting the schools starting dates or times
  • Due to parent / guardian illness over an extended period
  • Sibling illness or hospital appointments

 

 

Responding to non-attendance

The Home School Liaison Officer has specific responsibility to check on attendance and is committed to keeping pupils safe.

Attendance reports will be analysed on a regular basis for one day patterns etc. where attendance is below 95%.

A child whose attendance falls below 90% is classed as persistent absence, the Home School Liaison officer will continue to monitor attendance which may include intervention from the Head Teacher or Educational Welfare officer.

 

It is our routine procedure to:

  • Contact the parent or carer by telephone on the first day of unauthorised absence
  • If no answer is received the Home School Liaison Officer will discuss each individual case with the Head Teacher and a decision will be made as to action taken. Action might include making a home visit where the school has concerns.
  • If no explanation has been given for the unauthorised absence by the third day, make every effort to secure an explanation either by telephone or by post
  • Inform Education Welfare of any continuing unexplained absence
  • Categorise an absence as unauthorised until such time as an acceptable explanation is received
  • If there is persistent unauthorised absences or lateness the parent or guardian will be invited  to a meeting to discuss the problem with the Head Teacher and possible solutions
  • Carefully record and date all action taken by the school
  • If poor attendance / lateness continues to be cause for concern the matter will be referred to the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) by the Home School Liaison Officer using the Common Assessment Form (CAF), and the parent or carer informed
  • The school will then work closely with the EWO to ensure the child’s return to maximum attendance

 

 

Who are ‘Children Missing Education’?

 

Children Missing Education Protocol

Taken from Southwark Children’s & Adults Services, February 2017

 

The Department for Education statutory guidance (2016) defines Children Missing Education as ‘children of compulsory school age who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at school’.

 

Children may come to miss education for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • They may never have started in a school
  • They may cease to attend school, due to exclusion or parents withdrawing them
  • They may have left primary school but not completed transition to secondary school
  • They may have moved into a new area, including from abroad.

 

Southwark faces particular challenges with a highly mobile population and significant movement in and out of the borough throughout the school year. Children missing education have been identified as a priority by Southwark Safeguarding Children’s Board.

 

Children missing education are plainly at risk of educational under-achievement, with a potential long-term impact on their opportunities. They may also be exposed to other risks: ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (DfES, 2016) states that: ‘A child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect and such children are at risk of being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation’. Ofsted (2014) has identified that ‘Children who are missing from home, school or care are at greater risk of sexual exploitation’.

 

School Responsibilities

‘Keeping children safe in education: statutory guidance for schools and colleges’ (DfES, 2016) explains that we should follow the school procedures for dealing with children who go missing from education, particularly on repeat occasions, to help identify the risk of abuse and neglect including sexual abuse or exploitation and to help prevent the risks of their going missing in future. We put in place appropriate safeguarding responses to children who go missing from education.

 

We must inform the Local Authority when we are about to add or delete a pupil’s name from the school admission register for any reason. This applies to all children with the exception of those starting or leaving school at standard transition points, i.e. at the start of the first year and completion of the final year of education normally provided by that school. The legal basis for these duties is set out in Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2016, with further details in Annexe A of ‘Keeping children safe in education’ (DfES 2016) and ‘School Attendance: Guidance for maintained schools, academies, independent schools and local authorities’ (DfES, 2016).

 

We will notify the local authority within five days when a pupil’s name is added to the admission register, and must notify the local authority when a pupil’s name is to be deleted from the admission register as soon as the ground for deletion is met and no later than the time at which the pupil’s name is deleted from the register. Where we notify the local authority that a pupil’s name is to be deleted from the admission register, we are required to provide:

 

  • The full name of the pupil
  • The full name and address of any parent with whom the pupil lives
  • At least one telephone number of the parent with whom the pupil lives
  • The full name and address of the parent with whom the pupil is going to live, and the date the pupil is expected to start living there, if applicable
  • The name of pupil’s destination school and the pupil’s expected start date 
  • The ground under which the pupil’s name is to be deleted from the admission register.

 

‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (DfES 2016) states that ‘It is essential that schools comply with these duties, so that local authorities can, as part of their duty to identify children of compulsory school age, who are missing education, follow up with any child who might be at risk of not receiving an education and who might be at risk of being harmed exploited or radicalised’.

 

DfES School Attendance guidance (2016) also states that ‘All schools must agree with the relevant local authority, the regular interval that the school will inform the local authority of any pupil who fails to attend school regularly, or has been absent without the school’s permission for a continuous period of 10 days or more’.

 

Notification of potential Chid Missing in Education (CME)

Southwark’s process for identifying and tracking children missing education is led through the Pupil Tracking and Licensing Team in the Education Access division in Southwark Children’s and Adults’ Services.

Where a child remains on our school roll and there are concerns about them not receiving full time education as a result of poor attendance or other factors, we will notify Southwark Early Help Localities Service.

Southwark expects that we will have undertaken reasonable checks to confirm the destination school and/or address of a child leaving the school, including telephone calls, letters and where appropriate home visits to establish this information.

 

Organisation

 In order for this policy to be successful every member of staff makes attendance a high priority and conveys this to the children

 

 

Review

This policy will be subject to evaluation and review and subject to changes in local and national policy.

 

 

Date:  September 2022

Date of next review: September 2023

 

 

 

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