St Peter’s C.E. Primary School
All children of compulsory school age should receive suitable education either by regular attendance at school or otherwise. If a child is registered at school, parents [including those with parental responsibilities] have a duty under the Education act 2005 to ensure that their child attends regularly and punctually. The LA has a duty to provide education and to inspect school registers. The LA also has a duty to enforce the requirement that parents register their child on a school roll or provide suitable education otherwise than at school.
Aims and Targets
St Peter’s C. E. School aims to promote regular, punctual attendance at school for all pupils. We do this through:
Rights and Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of everyone in the school community to improve attendance [see first paragraph, Legal Framework.] The school must keep an admissions register and an attendance register. The attendance register must be taken twice a day, once at the start of the morning session and once at the start of the afternoon session. Every child should receive a mark in the register which indicates either they are present or absent. No blanks should be left. A list of symbols which indicate various causes for absence are found in the front of each class register. Only the school can authorise absence.
The parent or carer is not able to authorise absence and the school can refuse to accept their reasons for absence. If parents or carers fail to provide a reason for absence within two weeks then the absence will be coded as unauthorised.
The admissions register is kept both electronically and in paper form in the office. Parents inform school of any changes in address, telephone number, childcare etc on a regular basis so that records are kept up to date. Reminders to do this are sent out and every year a new data collection sheet is sent out to all parents to update information.
School’s Response to Absence
The school will always investigate absence. If absence persists the Headteacher will arrange a meeting with parents/carers to try to solve the problem. Every case is different. The headteacher will take account of family circumstances and the pattern of absence and may suggest monitoring progress for 2 to 4 weeks. If this is not successful an action plan may be drawn up. If this does not succeed either, the school will contact the Attendance Improvement Officer.
Holiday in Term Time
In line with Government guidelines, Headteachers are not able to grant any leave of absence during term time, unless there are exceptional circumstances. A family holiday during term time does not fall under the category of ‘exceptional circumstances’. In the event of parents ignoring this, a formal warning letter will be issued stating that Leicestershire County Council will be advised of the matter and will be requested to issue Penalty Notices in line with their policy. The parent(s) of any child who has absences recorded as a result of an unauthorised family holiday will each be fined £60 which must be paid within a 21 day period. Failure to pay the fine(s) within this timescale, will result in the fines being doubled to £120 which will need to be paid within 28 days of the original fine being issued. If the fine(s) remain unpaid after the full period of 28 days has expired, parents may face legal action under section 444 of the Education Act 1996. If found guilty of an offence under this Act, parents will receive a criminal record and could be fined up to £1000. All monies received from Penalty fines are received by Leicestershire County Council and do not benefit the school.
Reminders are sent regularly asking parents not to take children out of school in term time and stating that it is not the school’s policy for teachers to give work for children to do while they are on holiday.
If a child seems to have disappeared from the area without explanation these children must not be removed from the register without referral to the Attendance Improvement Officer. The school will also place the child’s name on the National Lost Pupils’ Database which is a repository for the Common Transfer File.
If the school has concerns regarding the pupil then the Headteacher, who is the designated Child Protection Officer, will alert Social Services if appropriate. If the school believes a crime may have been committed the Headteacher will contact the police directly.
Strategies for Promoting Good Attendance and Punctuality
St Peter’s C.E. Primary School adopts a positive and proactive role towards good attendance and punctuality in line with the Behaviour Policy, Anti Bullying Policy and Special Needs Policy.
Monitor Review and Feedback
The effectiveness of the school’s strategies is monitored every term. The Headteacher and secretary look at printouts from the attendance records to see if any child has less than 90% attendance. These children are then monitored closely and parents are contacted if there are concerns.
If a child is absent and no reason has been given by 9.30 am the Secretary is informed by the class teacher and the parents are contacted.
An attendance target is set in the autumn term and governors are informed of this target in the Headteacher’s Report at the Governors Meeting. If the Headteacher and governors feel that this target is not going to be met, more strategies will be put in place to promote better attendance.