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Attendance

 

Why attendance is important to us

Our school vision and ethos is about developing the whole child.

Our vision for attendance is for every pupil to come to school on time, every day.

It is proven that pupils with good attendance are happy, settled and are able to learn. As leaders we are aiming for pupils to be in school 100% of the time.

Pupils’ who miss days and/or come to school late find it harder to settle.  Young children need routines and familiarity to support them.

School in partnership with parents

We will let you know about our attendance procedures during our curriculum meetings held in the autumn term each year.  For children new to Early Years information will be given during the induction meetings in June/July.

Parents new to school will also be sent our attendance policy. This is available on our website and reviewed annually.

Ms Sargeant, our Attendance Officer (Welfare) will call you daily if your child is absent, and we haven’t been informed. Ms Sargeant will follow attendance procedures and meet with parents to support them in getting their child into school when necessary.

Our Daily Routines

It is important for parents to know and follow our daily routines for reporting absences and ensuring punctuality.

Our school gates open at 8.35am and close at 8.50am.

Children enter their classes through their class doors. This is so that a familiar, friendly face welcomes them into school. The class doors are open from 8.45-8.50am. The register is taken at 8.50-8.55am.

Learning across the school starts promptly at 8.55am.

(In the nursery this academic year, class doors open at 8.45-9.00am).

If you arrive after 8.50am and the gates are locked, you must take your child to the office.

You will sign them in electronically and you may receive a late mark.

Please remember, that coming late means your child has missed the start of learning, and it is hard for them to catch up. Moreover, when they are late, they can feel worried and anxious.

Parents must report their child’s absence every day, until they return. You will call the school office and select the option for reporting absence or send an email. If you haven’t notified school, Ms Sargeant will call home, this is to ensure your child is safe.

As soon as your child returns to school, you will need to show proof of illness for an absence to be authorised.  This could be:

  • notification of an appointment
  • note of a GP and/or pharmacy visit
  • photo of medicine.

It is very important for your child’s absence to be authorised.

 

We ensure pupils are safe

Parents are expected to report their child’s absence daily, by calling or emailing the office.  Ms Sargeant will call home if we have not heard from you to ensure your child is safe.

In our school, Miss White is the school’s Attendance Champion with a strategic overview and vision for attendance.

Ms Sargeant, our attendance officer (Welfare), is responsible for:

  • the day to day
  • 4 weekly and termly monitoring 
  • managing the school’s attendance

There are school procedures with sanctions aiming to improve individual pupil’s attendance by reducing absence.

We formally monitor and manage attendance every 4 weeks.

Ms Sargeant reviews the attendance for individual pupils. She updates Ms White as the School’s Attendance Champion. We use this data to start school absence procedures.

Providing that a child’s attendance is below 95%. The family will commence school procedures.

In the first instance, all parents/carers of pupils with attendance below 95% will receive an Initial Concern letter. This will show: current attendance, authorised and unauthorised absences. You will then be able to meet with Ms Sargeant, and discuss any issues or support needed.

Please note that information about your child’s attendance will be given in terms of sessions not days and will include authorised and unauthorised absences.

After 4 weeks, if attendance is still below, you will be set a first target. It will be reviewed in 4 weeks.

4 weeks later, if the first target is not achieved, Ms Sargeant will meet with parents/carers and offer support to improve their child’s attendance. A parent/pupil contract will be drawn up, and a second target will be put in place.

If this second target is not achieved, Ms Sargeant will speak with parents.  An extended target may be put in place to give you more time to improve your child’s attendance.

Assuming that this extended or second attendance target is not achieved, Ms Sargeant will send a referral to Hounslow’s School Attendance Support Service (SASS).

Ms White will be informed as Attendance School Champion and Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).

Any safeguarding concerns will be added to this referral to ensure everyone is safe.

At any time, if attendance has improved, Ms Sargeant praises the improvement to parents and children personally.

Procedures for working together with the Local Authority

To further reduce persistent absence (absent for 90%) and severe absence (absent for 50%), the Department for Education (DFE) requires schools to work closely with local authorities.   There are new legal requirements in place from August 2024.

So, our school has an assigned School Attendance Support Officer (SASO) from Hounslow, to work with and liaise with Ms Sargeant. The SASO is Kelly Whisker.

In line with the guidance from the DFE, they meet termly to discuss and reduce persistent absence and severe absence.

In addition, they will meet with parents/carers to see what help might be needed to get their child to attend school.

 

If a second or extended school attendance target is not achieved, Ms Sargeant will send a referral to SASS.

Ms White will be informed as Attendance Lead and Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and will include any safeguarding concerns to the referral to ensure families are safe.

The SASO will contact the family, set a Hounslow attendance target and a period of time.

If this is not achieved, the SASO and Ms Sargeant will meet with parents to set up a pupil/parent contract. The aim of this contract is to improve the child’s attendance by reducing absence.

 

If this is not achieved, a contract with the SASO and school will be set again.

After that, a family could receive a penalty warning notice and then ultimately a fine.

The DFE have stated that these fines are to be increased.

Term time leave can never be authorised by the Headteacher, so term time leave will be referred to the SASS. A penalty notice will be issued.

Please note that leave taken will stay on your child’s record for 6 years, and this will be recorded as unauthorised. Worryingly, you are also at risk of losing your child’s place at our school.

What’s more, a child missing in education (CME) referral is completed, This is to ensure children not at school are safe.

Promoting Attendance

It is our expectation that all school staff, including teachers, monitor their class’ attendance, alongside Ms White and Ms Sargeant.  They will look out for and inform us of patterns of absence e.g. missing every Friday, always coming into school late.

Teachers may be the first point of contact with parents/carers at the door. If your child has been off they may ask you the reason why.

In our school, we have many strategies to promote attendance, using praise and rewards.

Every week, during birthday assembly, with parents in attendance, we award class stars to each class with 95% attendance and above.

(Class stars are part of the school’s behaviour policy and go towards class rewards.)

In addition, we award the two classes with the highest attendance with the attendance bear. The bear is kept in their classroom for the following week.

The winning classes are also allowed to wear their own clothes the following Friday. 

We publish attendance weekly in the newsletter identifying the percentage overall and winning classes.

Comparing Attendance Data

There is a requirement from the DFE for all schools to monitor and publish their attendance data.

We have to compare them nationally and to Hounslow, every term and this is published on our website.

We are comparing data for groups. This includes: special educational needs (SEN), pupil premium (PP), boys and girls.

Leaders must aim for their attendance to be above national, including groups and Persistant Absence below national.

At the moment we do not have any pupils with severe absence.

If you think your child is ill...

Please send your children to school if you’re not sure in the morning.

They are usually fine once they arrive.

And of course, we will call you if they are not.