At Manor Park Primary School, we believe that good attendance is not simply a legal requirement, but essential. Through regular attendance children can take full advantage of all that school offers and gain the educational and social skills necessary for life.
Good attendance at school is important for your child's education and establishes a positive working ethos early in life. In the case of absence, it is essential that the school is informed of the reasons for any absence. Under current government legislation, unauthorised absence is regarded as truancy and all absence figures have to be reported to the Local Authority and the DfES and are recorded on a child's annual report.
It is also important that your child arrives on time for school, as the start of the day establishes the learning activities for the day. Lateness is recorded in the register. We are legally bound to register pupil's attendance at the beginning of each morning and afternoon session. Registers are closed at 9.25am and any child arriving after this time is marked with an unauthorised absence for the morning session.
The Family is responsible for:
- Making sure their child comes to school every day and receives their entitlement to learning unless prevented by illness or medical appointment;
- Letting the school know as soon as possible why a child is away and sending in a note for absence on return;
- Talking to the school as soon as possible about any child's reluctance to come to school so that problems can be quickly identified and dealt with;
- Making requests for authorised absence in term time only for emergency circumstances if absolutely necessary as these are not automatically authorised.
NB: These requests should not exceed 10 days in any one academic year and not more than twice in the time at Manor Park School.
What to do if your child is sick.
When your child is unwell please call the school on the first morning of absence by 10.30am. This should be done by telephoning the school at 0208 642 0144 and informing the office staff or by leaving a message (option 1) if you call outside office hours.
We will require a letter explaining the reason why the child is not at school on the child's return.
If your child has been vomiting or had diarrhoea it is important they stay at home until they have been clear of all symptoms for 24 hours.
What to do if you are not sure if your child is well enough to go to school.
Ask the office to check their temperature. Inform the office and explain your concerns. They will pass it on to the teacher and there are 7 First Aiders in school, we can keep a close eye on your child and send them home if necessary. You can call the office later on in the day to check they are OK.
What to do for dental and medical treatment.
Please try to avoid medical appointments during school hours. However, if your child does have an appointment, please bring in the letter.
If your child has a hospital appointment, the school must be notified in advance, otherwise this will be treated as unauthorised absence.
Thinking of arranging a family holiday during term time?
No holidays will be authorised during term time. It is expected that parents/carers arrange holidays in school holidays. A fixed penalty fine will be issued for unauthorised holidays taken in school time where the attendance starts at below 90%.
Thinking of occasionally asking for a short authorised absence for an exceptional circumstance for your child?
A letter must be written to the Headteacher explaining the exceptional circumstances preferably one month prior to the date. The Headteacher will consider the present level of attendance and the exceptional circumstance.
The following may be authorised occasionally and at the discretion of the Headteacher: Interviews, auditions, close family weddings (not parents as it is expected parents plan weddings in school holidays).
Close family funerals.
We advise that young children do not attend funerals as it can be very upsetting and confusing for young children and normal routine can help children with dealing with bereavement. We can also offer an opportunity to have some talk time with the Nurture Support Teaching Assistants and can support applying for bereavement counselling for the family. Please ask at the office to speak to the Nurture Support Teaching Assistant. However, if you choose to take a child this would be authorised for close family members only e.g. grandparents, and children should be brought in for the part of the day they can attend.
Trips to the Home Office.
These will only be authorised where an official letter is brought into the office which states that children should be in attendance.
Shopping trips, honeymoons, birthday trips, days out, hair cuts, confirmations (as these can be done at the weekend at a local church) and holidays at home are not reasons for children to be missing learning and will not be authorised.
It is expected that parents form trusted networks of family and friends to support caring for children when they have to attend other appointments. If you have not got a network please let the office know in confidence and a meeting can be arranged with the appropriate Key Stage Manager to suggest ways to help gain one.
What to do if an emergency circumstance arises and you want to request authorised absence for your child.
A letter must be written to the Headteacher explaining the emergency circumstances preferably one month prior to the date of departure (we understand that this is not always possible). Tickets should not be purchased until authorisation has been given by the Headteacher. The Headteacher will consider the present level of attendance and the emergency circumstances. Absence can be authorised for up to ten days in any academic year, apart from children in Year 6. NB: These requests should not exceed 10 days in any one academic year and not more than twice in the time at Manor Park School.
Example of Emergency Absences: Close family illness
What does the School do when a child is absent with no reason given?
- Phone on the day
- Write to parent with a reply slip and continue to call
- Get the teacher to ask for a reason at the beginning/end of day
- No reply within 2 weeks it is marked as an unauthorised absence
What does the school do if a child has low attendance?
The school expects that good attendance is 95% or above.
The schools procedure for Attendance below 90%
First stage attendance meetings will be arranged by Mrs. Shorter (the school attendance officer). There will be opportunities for the parent/carer to discuss reasons for absence and support to be given by the school with the aim to improve attendance. The Nurse will usually be present for medical advice. The school will usually ask for all absences to be supported by a Doctor's note or proof of visit to the Doctor of a dated stamp in the child's reading record book (these are free and can be obtained from the Doctor's reception).This is then explained to the Borough attendance officer when she monitors children below 85% and if these are produced for all illness absences a fixed penalty fine should not be issued. The school understands that sometimes there are valid reasons for low attendance and will not move onto the next stage if this is the case.
If the attendance does not improve and Doctors' notes or dated stamps are not consistently produced this then may be referred to the Headteacher who will arrange a second stage attendance meeting where support and advice may be given about the failure to improve attendance and possible fixed penalty fines.
If the attendance still does not improve the Borough attendance officer will arrange a final stage attendance meeting where fixed penalty fines will be discussed and may be issued.
Persistent failure of parent/carers to attend attendance support meetings may result in a fixed penalty fine if attendance does not improve.
Children who have had attendance meetings and when attendance improves to 95% + get a letter of congratulations sent home.
The Class teacher is responsible for:
- Ensuring that the registers are completed accurately at the beginning of each session;
- Ensuring that all absence letters and holiday forms are sent to the office
- Monitoring the attendance and patterns of absence of the children in their class
- Liaising with the Attendance Leader with regard to any concerns regarding absence
- Ensuring that the delivery of the curriculum is challenging, interesting and stimulating so that children want to attend regularly
- Ensuring (in conjunction with their colleagues) that the ethos in class and school is supportive of good attendance
The Borough Attendance Officer visits once a month to check and monitor the attendance of pupils at Manor Park School. She carries out regular register checks to identify children with low attendance (usually below 90%). She works with the school Attendance Administrator to improve attendance and may issue fixed penalty fines if attendance support meetings held by the school do not improve attendance (see below 90% attendance above).
Rewards for good attendance:
- Pupils with 98% - 100% attendance for a whole term are presented with a certificate and their names are put in the newsletter as well as a letter of congratulations is sent home.
- Individual children who make significant improvement are rewarded by special mention in assembly and a letter of congratulations is sent home.
This rewards system is constantly reviewed.