It is vitally important that children attend school, as good attendance helps children to develop academically, socially and emotionally.
As a school we have set a target of 96.1% attendance, which is in line with the National Standard. Children who have 100% attendance are rewarded weekly, with extra prizes available at the end of each term. We have also joined forces with Vision for Education and we're part of their Attendance Heroes scheme which rewards improving attendance.
Below are just some of the key reasons why it is so important children attend school:
To have fun and make new friends
To understand responsibility
To experience new things
To develop awareness of other cultures, religions, ethnicity and gender differences
To gain qualifications
To develop new skills
To build confidence and self-esteem
To grow as individuals.
Please help us to help your child by encouraging regular school attendance. Regular attendance helps children to develop confidence and to make lasting friendships. Children who regularly miss school without good reason are more likely to become isolated from their friends, underachieve and/or become involved in anti-social behaviour.
What to do if your child is ill
We are aware that unfortunately children sometimes cannot attend school due to an illness. We have many staff qualified in first-aid who can administer prescribed medicines when necessary. Please see our Managing Medicines policy for more information about this.
If your child is ill, you must telephone school first thing in the morning to explain the reason for the absence. If we are not informed, then a truancy call home will be made. These are our procedures for unexplained absences from school. Our number is 0191 2007248.
Unfortunately, there have been cases made public recently where schools have not chased up the reasons as to why children are off school and it then transpired that there had been tragic circumstances around these absences. To prevent this from happening at our school, we will do everything that we can, and I am sure that you would agree that the children's safety is the first priority for us all.
If your child is absent, and we have not heard from you, then we will start to call the contact numbers that you provided in order to find the reason for the absence. However, if after trying all of the numbers from the contact list and we haven't had any response, then we will report it to the police as your child will be classed as a 'missing child'.
This procedure is only in place so that we can be assured that you are all safe. Please make an appointment to speak with me if you would like to discuss this further.
Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is your legal responsibility. Unexplained absences, regular absences or frequent lateness will trigger a contact from our Attendance Officer who works for North Tyneside Local Authority. Where children are absent due to illness you may be asked to provide supporting evidence from a medical professional. A referral may be made to the School Nurse with your consent. Frequent absences/lateness and lengthy absences are a concern and you will be notified when there are concerns about your child’s attendance. Continuous poor attendance (without a valid reason) will be referred to the Local Authority for consideration of further actions which may include prosecution.
Penalty Notices Failure of a parent to ensure their child’s attendance is an offence under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996. If the reasons given for a child’s absence are not satisfactory then the Local Authority may take legal proceedings against a parent for their failure to comply. A Penalty Notice requiring payment of £60 (per child) within 21 days of receipt of the Notice, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. Prosecution in a magistrate's court and if found guilty of an offence under A Section 444 (1), a fine of up to maximum of £1000 and, under Section 444 (1a), this could rise to £2,500 and/or a custodial sentence.
If your child has to have a medical or dental appointment in school time, please do your best to have it after 2pm and then your child can have their registration mark for the afternoon before you pick them up. If it needs to be a morning appointment, please try and bring them to school first to get their mark and then return them to school afterwards.
Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required and why a whole day of absence CANNOT be authorised for most medical appointments.
Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason like illness (where a child is too ill to attend), medical/dental appointments which unavoidably fall in school time, emergencies or other unavoidable cause. The Department for Education guidance states “if the authenticity of illness is in doubt, schools can request parents provide medical evidence to support illness. Schools can record the absence as unauthorised if not satisfied of the authenticity of the illness but should advise parents of their intentions. Medical evidence can take the form of prescriptions, appointment cards etc. rather than a doctors note. Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable and for which no ‘leave’ has been given. This type of absence can lead to the Local Authority using sanctions and/or legal proceedings. Again, 5 days (10 sessions) of unauthorised absence can trigger legal monitoring leading to parents being issued with a Penalty Notice.
PLEASE THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE TAKING YOUR CHILD OUT OF SCHOOL DURING TERM TIME
In law, you must ask for permission for your children to miss school. Leave in term time will only be agreed where the Head Teacher feels there are exceptional circumstances. All other leave will be recorded as unauthorised absence.
Parents who take a child of compulsory school age on holiday without permission from the school may be issued with a warning letter and/or a penalty notice by the Local Authority. There are 190 statutory school days in one year. That means there are 175 days (weekends and school holidays) available to use for holidays. There is no automatic entitlement in law to time off in school time to go on holiday Any period taken without agreement of the school will be classed as unauthorised and may attract a Penalty Notice. A 2 week holiday in school time means your child has approximately 50 hours of missed work to catch up on!
GOOD ATTENDANCE MEANS…..
being in school at least 95% of the time, or between 180 and 190 days
THERE ARE ONLY 190 SCHOOL DAYS. THAT MEANS 175 DAYS NOT AT SCHOOL FOR SHOPPING AND HOLIDAYS!