Attendance and Absences
The staff Brookvale Primary School are committed to ensuring the highest possible school attendance for all pupils and understand that, in order to facilitate teaching and learning, good attendance is essential. Pupils cannot achieve their full potential if they do not regularly attend school.
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. We will do this so that we can ensure that our children have the best possible chance to achieve at school and that they can begin their adult lives with at least the same chances as those others they will be competing with in their future lives of training and employment.
We are committed to:
- Promoting and modelling good attendance.
- Ensuring equality and fairness for all.
- Intervening early and working with parents and other agencies to ensure the health and safety of our pupils.
- Rewarding regular attendance.
- Ensuring parents follow the framework set in section 7 of the Education Act 1996, which states that the parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause them to receive efficient full-time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude, and to any SEND they may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.
Why Does Attendance Matter?
Missing a few days of school here and there may not seem an issue, but the research is very clear in showing that it can have a significant impact on children’s learning.
Children who miss a substantial amount of school fall behind their peers, and struggle to catch up.
Poor attendance often starts at primary school, and children who fall into this pattern are likely to underachieve at secondary school. Children who miss between 10 and 20% of school (that’s 19 to 38 days per year) stand only a 35% chance of achieving five or more good GCSEs, compared to 73% of children who miss fewer than 5% of school days.
Friendship can also be affected by persistent absence, too: it can be hard for a child who misses lots of school to form secure relationships with their classmates and this may lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
The impact of partial Covid closures on the social, emotional and academic outcomes of children should also not be ignored. Research by the DfE (Interim findings from Spring Term) found that primary-aged pupils have experienced a learning loss in reading and mathematics. This was typically equivalent to between 2.0 and 2.3 months of progress in reading, and between 3.1 and 3.6 months in mathematics. There was further learning loss in primary schools in England, particularly in reading, following restrictions to in-person learning in early 2021. It is essential that children are in school each day so that teachers and teaching assistants can support closing any gaps caused by partial school closures. Best evidence on impact of Covid-19 on pupil attainment | EEF (educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk)
Pupils will be expected to attend school every day they are required to be at school and parents will sign an agreement at the beginning of each school year acknowledging and agreeing to this expectation. The school will also expect all pupils to attend lessons punctually.
Pupils and parents will be encouraged to communicate any concerns related to attendance and absence as soon as possible to the relevant member of staff.
At Brookvale Primary School we expect all children to achieve attendance that is at least 96%.
We expect that all pupils will:
- attend school regularly
- attend school punctually
- attend school appropriately prepared for the day
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/are unable to attend school
- contact the school on the first day of the child’s absence and send a note on their return to school
- contact the school promptly whenever a problem occurs that may keep the child away from school.
We expect that our school staff will:
- keep regular and accurate records of attendance for all pupils, twice daily
- monitor every pupil’s 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
- contact those families whose child’s attendance has dropped below 95% on a termly basis
- encourage good attendance
- provide a welcoming atmosphere for children; provide a safe learning environment; provide a sympathetic response to any pupil’s concerns
- make initial enquiries of parents/carers of pupils who are not attending regularly, express their concern and clarify the school’s and the Academy’s expectations with regard to regular school attendance
- refer irregular or unjustified patterns of attendance to the Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher, Attendance officer and Pastoral Lead
Parents will be required to contact the school office via telephone by 9.30am on the first day of their child’s absence. They will also be required to send a note in on the first day that their child returns to school with a signed explanation of why they were absent. This is required even if the parent has already contacted the school. Alternatively, parents may call into school and report to the school office where arrangements will be made to speak to a member of staff.
Parents who have not contacted the school office by 9.30am will be sent a text message to ascertain a reason for the child absence from school. If there is still no response by 11.00am, a telephone call will be made to the parent.
The school will always follow up any absences in order to:
- Ascertain the reason for the absence.
- Ensure the proper safeguarding action is being taken.
- Identify whether the absence is authorised or not.
- Identify the correct code to use to enter the data onto the school census system.
Note: Not all illnesses require children to be absent from school. For minor childhood ailments, such as coughs, colds, ear aches etc. we would not expect children to be absent unless too unwell to attend school. However, when a parent makes the assessment that their child is unfit for school they should follow the above absence process. We would encourage parents to send their children into school for the afternoon session if their child’s condition/illness improves.
The school will regard punctuality as of the utmost importance and lateness will not be tolerated.
When a child arrives late at school he/she misses the teacher’s instructions and the introduction to the lesson. The child may also feel embarrassed at having to enter the classroom late. Frequent lateness can add up to a considerable amount of learning lost (table below), and can seriously disadvantage the child.
Doors open at 8.45am each day. The school day starts at 8.55am. Pupils should be in their classroom at this time. It is expected that all children arriving late will be accompanied into the building by an adult (Parent/carer) as a reason will need to be given and recorded for the late arrival.
Leave in Term Time
The school holiday dates are published a year in advance and holidays in term time are not permitted. If a leave of absence in term time is required for exceptional circumstances, such as a death or serious illness in the immediate family a request for leave of absence form must be completed. This can be obtained from the school office.
Applications for leave during term time must be made in advance and failure to do so will result in the absence being recorded as ‘unauthorised’. This may result in legal action against the parent, by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Holidays, weddings and non-religious celebrations during term time will not be granted under any circumstance.