A letter from the City Council about Attendance
Positive Attendance: Helping Children and Young People to Succeed
School is an important part of the lives of children and young people. It is where they begin to develop new skills, make friendships and it helps prepare them for their future. When a child misses school, they can miss out on these vital opportunities and their learning and friendships may suffer. Whilst 90% is an excellent result in a test, an attendance level of 90% is poor, children are classed as persistently absent and children’s outcomes in school can be badly affected. Any absence that is not authorised by the school is a reason for concern.
Parents and carers have the legal responsibility to ensure that a child attends school regularly and arrives on time. Absence taken during the school term can have a negative impact on a child’s education. Therefore:
· Schools rarely agree to parents taking their children out of school for the purposes of leave of absence / holidays in term-time. This is not an automatic entitlement and only the Head teacher can authorise this if a parent applies in advance and the Head teacher’s view is that there are exceptional circumstances. If your child misses school for the purposes of a holiday or a trip and the absence is not agreed, you may be issued with a Penalty Notice, or you may be prosecuted.
· Penalty Notices may also be issued to parents whose children have 20 or more unauthorised absences in a 12 week period. Penalty Notices are a fine of:
o £120 per parent per child if paid in full within 28 days (reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days)
· If a Penalty Notice is not fully paid within 28 days and there is no reason to withdraw the Notice, the Local Authority has no option but to prosecute a parent in the Magistrates’ Court for failing to ensure regular school attendance.
· In Court, if a parent pleads guilty, or is found guilty, they will then have a criminal record. A fine of up to £2,500, up to 3 months imprisonment or a community penalty could be imposed together with a parenting order.
You can help your child by ensuring that they arrive on time and that you arrange any appointments for them (e.g. dental check ups) outside school hours. If your child has regular absences the school may require medical evidence.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss any issues affecting your child’s attendance, please contact your child’s school in the first instance or the Education Welfare Service on (0116) 454 5510.
Service Manager - Education Welfare Service
Attendance information from the school:
Our gates close at 9am each day, so any child in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 who arrives after this time will be late.
If you are bringing your child late to school, please bring them straight to the school office. You will be asked to sign your child in as they will have missed the register. They will be recorded with a late mark.
Should this become a regular issue, we will arrange for you to meet with members of our attendance team to see if there is support which can be offered to you to try and improve punctuality. Being late for school means that your child is missing out on vital learning.
Should your child be ill or unable to attend school for any reason, you must phone the school office as soon as possible,.
Our Attendance Policy tells parents what happens if a child misses a day of school and we are not informed of the reason for their absence.
If we have reason to be concerned about safeguarding or wellbeing, and have not managed to make contact via text, email or calling all listed emergenc contacts on Day 1, this may trigger a home visit. This would be the case for any child who has Social Care involvement or is on Early Help.
If we are unable to make contact we would refer you and your child to the Education Welfare Officer at the Local Authority.
Please remember that our policy states that we will always ask for evidence of the reason for your child's absence if they are too unwell to attend school. This could be in the form of a note from your GP, an appointment card or letter.