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School Attendance

Regular and punctual attendance is of paramount importance in ensuring that all children have full access to the curriculum. Valuable learning time is lost when children are absent or late. Children should be at school, on time, every day the school is open, unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. Permitting absence from school without a good reason is an offence by the parent.

Children are sometimes reluctant to attend school. Any problems with regular attendance are best sorted out between the school, the parents and the child. If a child is reluctant to attend, covering up their absence or giving in to pressure to excuse them from attending should be avoided. This gives the impression that attendance does not matter and may make things worse.

Every half day absence has to be classified by the school, (not by the parents), as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of each absence is always required, preferably in writing. Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a reason such as genuine illness or other unavoidable cause. Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no “leave” has been given. This includes:

  • Parents keeping children off school unnecessarily
  • Truancy before or during the school day
  • Absences which have never been properly explained
  • Children who arrive at school too late to get a mark.

Parents are expected to contact school at an early stage and to work with the staff in resolving any problems together. If difficulties cannot be sorted out in this way, the school may refer the children to the Education Support, Behaviour & Attendance Service from the Local Authority. The Practitioner will also try to resolve the situation by agreement but, if other ways of trying to improve the child’s attendance have failed, these Officers can use Legal Interventions on parents or to seek an Education Supervision Order on the child. The maximum penalty on conviction is a fine of £2500 and/or 3 months imprisonment.

The school has the following standard procedures for registration:

  • Registration 8.55-9.05am
  • Any child arriving after the final whistle but before the registers have closed will be marked at late.
  • Any child arriving after the registration window will be marked U and the time will be noted.
  • Afternoon registration is at 1.15pm.
  • Early collection of children is not authorised unless for certain medical/dental appointments, proof of which must be shown to the school office.
  • Late collection of children will be monitored and if necessary referred through safeguarding procedures.
  • All procedures are subject to review under special circumstances such as lockdown etc.

The school applies the following procedures in deciding how to deal with individual absences:

  • Sickness absence should be reported to the school office absence line before 9.30am on the first day of absence and follow up calls made to keep the school informed if the absence is longer than one day.
  • Planned absence during term time that is not medical should be requested in writing on a “Request for leave of absence in term time” form, issued by ESCC.
  • GP and dental appointments should be made outside of school hours unless it is an emergency in which case the child may well not attend school that day for that reason.
  • Hospital appointments which are arranged should be arranged for out of school hours or for the afternoons where possible. 
  • Hospital appointments which are given (e.g. certain clinics which only run at given times) parents should request an appointment that will enable their child to be in school for as much of the school day as possible. All children should be in school for the first part of the morning wherever possible.
  • The school requires sight of dental appointment cards/hospital appointment letters.

More information can be found in our Attendance Policy:

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