Our whole school attendance this week is 92.9%.
The class with the best attendance is 5JN with 99.3%. Well done 5JN!
Attendance and punctuality is a life skill and at Farnham Primary School we strive to support our pupils to maintain high levels of attendance. Good attendance at school is important for your child’s education and establishes a positive working ethos early in life.
If you value your child’s education – don’t miss a day.
The Positives – research shows:
● Children who have 95% attendance or above do better at school and better in later life
● Children who have 95% attendance or above are more confident, happier and find school more enjoyable
● Children who have 95% attendance or above find transition to secondary school easier
The Education (Pupils’ Attendance Records) Regulations 1991 require schools to determine whether an absence can be deemed to be authorised or whether the child should be regarded as being absent without permission i.e. truanting. In the terms of the legislation it is only the school who can approve the absence, not the parent.
Here at Farnham Primary, absence will only be authorised by the Headteacher for the following reasons;
● Pupil illness with evidence from a medical professional for example an appointment card or email evidence of a doctor’s appointment with outcome resulting in absence from school.
● Pupil is absent on a day set aside for religious observation by the religious group to which the pupil’s parents belong.
● Pupil is absent following the death of a close family member.
● Pupil has a medical or dental appointment, confirmed with an appointment card/letter. The child is expected to attend school prior to the appointment or return to school after the appointment – where possible medical or dental appointments should be booked outside of school hours.
Pupils whose attendance is less than 90% are referred to as “Persistent Absentees” by the DfE and will be considered for referral to the Local Authority Attendance Team. The school attendance team will then begin a programme of monitoring and support.
● Step 1 – Parents/guardian of identified Persistent Absentees will be contacted by school staff and offered support to ensure that their child attends school each day.
● Step 2 – Should absence continue despite support being offered, parent/guardian of identified Persistent Absentees will be sent a ‘monitoring’ letter and any further absences will be monitored for a period of two weeks.
● Step 3 – Should any further absences occur within the two week monitoring period, the parent/guardian will be invited to attend a panel meeting with a member of the Senior Leadership Team to discuss the absences and agree an action plan to improve attendance. The action plan will be reviewed in 6 weeks.
● Step 4 – A letter summarising the discussion and a copy of the action plan is posted to the parent/guardian.
● Step 5 – After 6 weeks the attendance printout is reviewed by the school attendance team.
Parent/guardians must note that where a child has ten unauthorised sessions (1 session is half a day so 10 sessions = 5 days) in any 6 week period, then this could lead to the issuance of a fixed penalty notice which could lead to a minimum fine of £60 per child per parent.
Extended leave and family holidays in term time
From 1st September 2013, the law has been changed (The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006) which removes the statutory threshold of the discretionary 10 school days of absence for the purpose of a family holiday or extended leave except for exceptional circumstances. Consequently NO FAMILY HOLIDAYS OR EXTENDED LEAVE WILL BE GRANTED for any child from this date.
If a request is made, a meeting must first be held with the Headteacher to discuss the request. Families must note that if they decide to take unauthorised leave e.g. go on extended leave in term time, then the school will actively pursue the issuance of a fixed penalty notice which could lead to a minimum fine of £60 per child per parent which must be paid within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. This brings attendance penalty notices into line with other types of penalty notices and allows local authorities to act faster on prosecutions. If you have 3 children with a mother and father, then each parent will be fined £60 per child 3 x £60 = £180 which would be £360 fine for the family.
Children Missing Education (CME)
Children Missing Education (CME) are children of compulsory school age who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school i.e. privately or electively home education (EHE).
The school has a legal obligation to act when they are aware of or believe that a child is missing from education. This should include reasonable enquiries to obtain as much information as possible such as names, addresses, contact details, emails, details of other family members, friends etc. Only once these reasonable enquiries have been completed and the whereabouts of the child are still unknown or unconfirmed should a Children Missing Education (CME) referral be made to the Local Authority.
Reasonable enquiries should include:
● Contacting family, relatives, neighbours and where appropriate landlords and other significant adults
● Making enquiries within school with class teachers, friends (if appropriate)
● Liaising with schools attended by siblings
● Conducting home visits
● Sending letters and/or emails
It is important that pupils arrive at school on time so that they do not miss the beginning of each school day.
● School doors open at 8.35am and pupils should be in school at this time and ready to learn.
● All entrances with the exception of the main school entrance are closed at 8.50am.
● Pupils arriving after this time will need to report to the office where their names will be entered into the “late book” and Arbor for safety reasons and monitoring of attendance.
● The “late book” is monitored weekly to identify the pupils who are persistently late.
● If a pupil arrives after the register has closed at 9.15am then they will lose their attendance mark for that morning which in turn impacts upon their overall attendance percentage.
● If a pupil is persistently late then the parent/guardian is invited to a meeting with school staff to discuss the situation and offered support if appropriate.
● Persistent lates may be followed up with a penalty notice.