Attendance Policy Ysgol Rhys Prichard “Attendance matters…” School Processes • If a child is absent, parents need to inform the school on the first day of absence. • If a child is absent and no message has been received by 9:30, then the school will contact the home. • The school will update parents on their child’s attendance every term. • If attendance causes a worry, then the school will invite parents to discuss the issue and how best to support good attendance. • If attendance drops below 85% then the school is required to refer this to the LEA. • It is important that children arrive on time - before the bell rings at 9.10am The school is required to lock the gates at 9.10 am. If you arrive after 9.10am then you will need to o sign a late log to note the reason for lateness. • The late log will be monitored and should the school notice any patterns then you will be invited into the school to discuss reasons and ways to support you to improve punctuality. As a school we aim to: • Maintain parents’ and pupils’ awareness of the importance of regular attendance. • To raise attendance • Improve punctuality • To raise level of achievement • Maximise opportunities both in school and in later life Good attendance is important because: • Statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and poor attendance • Regular attenders make better progress, both socially and academically • Regular attenders find school routines and school work easier to cope with • Regular attenders find learning more satisfying • Regular attenders have an easier transfer to secondary school As a parent we ask you to: • Ring on the first morning of all absences with the reason and saying when the child will return – before 9.10 a.m. • Arrange dental and doctor’s appointments out of school hours or during school breaks where possible. Where this is not possible you should inform the school at the earliest opportunity. • Bring your child to school before and returning them after a hospital or other medical appointment • Keep us updated by telephone or letter if your child has an extended period of absence due to illness School shall take various measures in order to safeguard children by: • Following up unexplained absences after registration, with a phone call on the first morning • Reminding parents of the importance of regular attendance and punctuality in newsletters, and in the Home-School agreement • Publishing our attendance rate in the school prospectus and the Governing Body’s Annual Report • Publishing your child’s attendance rate on her/his annual school report • Letting you know if we have concerns regarding your child’s attendance • If we continue to have concerns make a referral to the School Educational Welfare Service Authorised Absence Some absences are allowed by law and are known as “authorised absences”. For example: if a child is ill, family bereavement, religious observance. We realise that there are rare occasions when there might be a particular problem that causes your child to be absent. Please let us know and we shall try to deal with it sympathetically. Unauthorised Absence There are times when children are absent for reasons, which are not permitted by law. These are known as “unauthorised absences”. Examples of unauthorised absence are: • Going shopping or for a hair cut • Going for a family day out • Sleeping in after a late night • Unapproved Holidays • Where there is no explanation for the absence or where the explanation or reason for the absence is considered unsatisfactory. • Parents are unwell (call us, we can help to get your child to school) Unauthorised Absences have to be reported to the Local Authority. The School Attendance Service may contact you and consider taking legal action against you if your child has unauthorised absences. Punctuality • It is important to be on time as the first few minutes of the school day are often used to give out instructions or organise schoolwork for the rest of the day. • If your child misses this short but vital session, their work for the whole day may be affected. Late arrivals are disruptive to the whole class and often embarrassing for your child. We take the view there are no late children, only late parents. • Arrival after the close of registration may be marked as unauthorised absence • We will let you know if we have concerns about your child’s punctuality. • Children who remain uncollected at the end of school time wait in the conservatories with a member of staff until the parent or known family member collects the child/ren. Holidays and Term Time Leave of Absence The school support the view that every lesson counts and discourages parents from taking holidays in term time. We are always concerned about the amount of school time pupils’ miss as a result of family holidays. There is no entitlement to time off in term time. Leave of absence is only allowed at the discretion of the Head Teacher in accordance with the school policy as agreed by the Governing Body taking into consideration the amount of previous absence. The Pupil Registration (Wales ) Regulations 2010 provide the headteacher with a discretionary power to authorise leave for a family holiday where parents seek permission. It is our policy: • That only in exceptional circumstances will holidays be allowed and then only up to a maximum of 10 days. • Parents wishing to apply for leave of absence for term-time holidays need to apply using the holiday request form in writing well in advance. The head teacher will consider your request and advise you of his decision. • Try to minimise time out of school by timing holidays at either end of a school break except at the start of September as it is very unsettling for a child to miss the start of the school year. • If the school does not agree and you take your child on holiday, the absence will be unauthorised. Please remember that the more time your child misses from school, the more difficult it is for them to catch up with their learning. A good understanding of the work can only take place when the pupil is in the classroom. Legal Note Parents have a legal duty to ensure the regular and full time attendance at school of registered pupils. The Education Regulations make provision for holidays in term time only with the permission of the Headteacher. The regulations state that holidays in term time should only be authorised under special circumstances & that save under exceptional circumstances, no more that 10 school days should be authorised for a holiday. It will be at the head teachers discretion to authorise a holiday. School outings / visits / residential trips. Opportunities for children to attend these activities are provided. If they do not go, the children are expected to attend school, where alternative arrangements will be made for them. Governors will not authorise absence if the child does not attend school during this time, unless there is a valid medical reason or medical certificate provided or there are exceptional family circumstances. Monitoring and Evaluation Throughout the year parents will be kept informed of school expectations and procedures via newsletters or on the school web-site. In cases causing concern phone calls will be made to the parent/carer and logged, if no improvement is seen this is followed by a letter, if again no improvement is made this will be followed by a referral to the Education Welfare Service. The School presentation Certificates are given to pupils with full attendance each term. Procedures • Registers of all classes are kept and monitored by staff daily • A log is kept of children who arrive late • A log is kept of all children daily for whom no notification for absence has been made and of phone calls made • A log is kept of phone calls received from parents and reasons given. We value your support in helping us to maintain high standards. Signed - _______________________ Date - ________________________