Article 28 – Every child has the right to an education
Good attendance is key to your child being able to fulfill their potential and make good progress in school. One of the most important ways a parent can support the education of their child and the child’s social, emotional, and academic development is to ensure they attend every day and on time.
By law, all children of compulsory school age must get a suitable, full-time education. As a parent/carer, you are responsible for making sure this happens. Once your child is registered at Seaham Trinity Primary School, you are responsible for making sure your child has regular and punctual attendance at school.
The Local Authority (LA) is responsible for making sure that parents/carers fulfil their responsibilities, and the school must tell the LA if your child is regularly absent from school. As a parent/carer, you are committing an offence if you fail to make sure that your child attends school regularly. You run the risk of being prosecuted by the LA if your child’s attendance is poor.
Reporting School Absence
We appreciate there may be times your child is unwell or unable to attend school. As a parent you have a responsibility to:-
- Contact school on the first morning of absence, providing a reason for their absence.
- Keep school informed on a regular basis if your child is absent for a long period.
- Provide medical evidence if this has been requested by the school
If school are not informed and unable to contact you via telephone regarding your child’s absence a letter will be sent requesting details of the absence. If this is not returned and still no reason for the absence is provided the absence will be marked as unauthorised.
Only head teachers can authorise absence and it is at their discretion as to whether the reason provided is acceptable or not. Below is a guideline for your information
|Acceptable Reason||Unacceptable Reason|
|Essential appointment||Holidays (unless prior approval granted)|
|Infectious disease||Visiting relatives|
|Bereavement||Out of school sports|
|Exceptional Circumstance (approved by Head Teacher)||Tiredness|
|Religious observance||Not wanting to go|
The minimum acceptable level of school attendance is 95%. We believe as a school that identifying poor attendance and issues affecting attendance early as well as working in partnership with parents we can significantly improve attendance and prevent a child becoming a persistent absentee and involvement with the Local authority. Below outlines the procedure that we follow to support and improve attendance:
- Notice to Improve Letter – sent home to indicate to parents/cares that attendance is starting to decline. This will be sent to students below 95% attendance.
- Medical Evidence Request Letter – sent home to request medical evidence to be provided to support absence, without this future absence will be marked as unauthorised. This could be in the form of an appointment card or proof of medication given by the doctor
- Parents/carers to be invited to attend a school attendance meeting to discuss concerns and set targets to improve attendance.
- If your child’s attendance falls to 90% or below, this is considered, by the Government, to be persistent absence. Where attendance falls below 90% and there are unauthorised absences a referral will be made to the Local Authority School Improvement Officer for further intervention and enforcement action may be taken.
Punctuality Matters too!
Missed minutes = missed learning = missed opportunities!
Being frequently late for school means lost learning:
- Arriving 5 minutes late every day adds up to over 3 days lost each year.
- Arriving 15 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 2 weeks a year.
- Arriving 30 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for 19 days a year.
Lateness to School
School starts at 8:50 am, which is when the gate closes. Your child will receive a late mark if they arrive after this time. For safeguarding reasons, you must come into school to sign the late book so we know your child has arrived safely. If your child arrives after the register closes at 9.05 am they will be given an unauthorised late mark. Persistent Unauthorised late marks will result in a referral to the Local Authority School Improvement Officer for further intervention and enforcement action may be taken.
Some Strategies to Improve Punctuality
Bedtime routines – packing school bag ready for the next day, getting to bed earlier, setting a time for a television, IPad, computer, mobile phone and other devices to be turned off.
Morning routines – setting the alarm earlier, no television until ready for school (and maybe not even then), having breakfast before leaving home, so no need to call in at the shop, meeting a reliable friend to walk to school with.
Holidays/ Leave of Absence
Please think carefully before taking your child out of school during term time. The law states that you must ask permission for your children to miss school. Leave in term time will only be agreed where the Head teacher feels there are exceptional circumstances. On occasion we may ask for evidence to support the reason provided, particularly from employers if it is a work related request.
If you are requesting a holiday during term time or leave of absence you must complete a leave of absence request form and hand it into the school Office, you will then be notified in writing as to whether or not the absence has been authorised.
Parents/Carers who take a child of compulsory school age on holiday without permission may be issued with a Penalty Notice from the Local Authority.