We work very hard with children and families to encourage and promote good attendance. It is one of our priorities. Expected attendance is for every child to attend school for 97% of the school year.
Why is it important to come to school every day?
Coming to school every day is very important for your child. Research shows children with poor attendance:
- find it harder to make and keep friends
- are less likely to leave school with good qualifications
- have a much higher chance of being unemployed or in poorly paid jobs
- have a negative self-image and low confidence.
Children who miss school miss out on valuable learning. Success in school is directly related to good attendance. The better the attendance the better the achievement. It is also very important that children get into good habits about coming to school every day right from the start.
When is absence authorised?
Obviously children should not come to school if they are unwell. They need to stay at home and rest to get well. They also need to stay at home so they don’t pass on illness to others. This is particularly important if they have had a tummy bug. Public Health England advise that children should not come back to school for 48 hours after their last bout vomiting or diarrhoea. However in many cases children are well enough to return 24 hours after the last bout of vomiting or diarrhoea. If children have poor attendance due to lots of illness we will recommend a referral to the school nurse or paediatrician to ensure there are no underlying health issues which need to be addressed.
When is absence not authorised?
The following reasons are not acceptable for missing school:
Your child’s birthday- we always celebrate birthdays in school and make children feel special.
To go shopping- you can go after school
Waking up late- although we would rather you came in late than not at all
To go on holiday - although exceptional circumstances may be considered if the request meets the criteria in our attendance policy School uniform hasn’t been washed- children can wear home clothes to school, we always have spare uniform in school which your child can borrow
Your child won’t eat their breakfast- bring it with you and they can eat it in school
Your child doesn’t want to come- together we can find out why they are unhappy about school and sort the problem out.
Another family member is ill- we can help find someone who lives near you who could bring your child to school if you are ill.
Any child with attendance less than 90% is classed as having ‘persistent absence’. Good attendance is over 97%.
If your child is away for more than 9 days a year they will not have good attendance.
If a child misses one day a week by the end of the school year they will have missed 39 days of school and that is over 200 hours of learning!
If they did that for 2 years they will have missed the equivalent of nearly half a year of school!
Looking ahead to the future 90% of young people with absent rates below 85% fail to achieve five or more good grades of GCSE and around one third achieve no GCSEs at all.
Poor attendance at school would suggest to colleges and employers that the young person is unreliable.
It is vitally important for children to attend school for the following reasons:
- To learn
- To have fun
- To make new friends
- To experience new things in life
- To develop an awareness of the wider world
- To love learning and achieve well
- To develop new skills
- To build confidence & self-esteem
- To have the best possible start in life
By keeping a child out of school we are stopping them from experiencing and gaining these important things.
Research shows us that young people who regularly miss school without good reason are more likely to become isolated from their friends, to underachieve in examinations and become involved in anti-social behaviour.
A child’s education is very important, so the law is strong when it comes to helping a child receive their entitlement to it. Where we have concerns about a child’s attendance we always do our best to work with parents, to offer support to overcome the reasons behind poor attendance. However, when parents are not prepared to work with us we will inform the local authority which could result in legal action.
Why is it important to come to school on time every day?
It is better to be late coming to school than not coming to school at all. However, we always encourage punctuality at school. Not only is it a good habit to learn from an early age as ‘learning for life’ skill but also being on time is important for every child because:
It helps them have a positive start to the school day, settling in with everyone else
It helps them make and keep friends
It improves their confidence and sense of belonging
It means they don’t miss out on important learning time
By regularly arriving late children can miss out on a lot of learning time
Arriving 5 minutes late every day adds up to 3 days lost over the school year
Arriving 15 minutes late every day is the same as being absent for nearly 2 weeks over the school year
Arriving half an hour late every day is the same as being absent for 18 days over the school year
Being late can:
Be embarrassing for your child
Damage your child’s confidence
Lead to your child being confused and missing important information at the start of the school day
Also disrupt the learning for the other children in your child’s class
How can I help my child come to school every day and on time?
Make sure your child understands the importance of good attendance & punctuality
Take an interest in your child’s day at school. Talk to them about it. Your child will value school more if you do.
Take a positive interest in your child’s learning by hearing them read at home, practise their writing & maths. Your child’s teacher will send home an overview of the learning in school every term and how you can help learning at home.
Set a regular bedtime and morning routine. Make sure your child has good sleep by turning off the television, computer, tablet etc. half an hour before bedtime so your child has time to relax. Don’t put the television, computer, tablet etc. on in the morning until your child is ready for school.
Help your child get everything ready for school the night before e.g. school uniform, book bag, P.E kit
Attend events in school e.g. assemblies, Learning Conversations with your child’s teacher
Arrange family holidays during the school holiday and not during term time
Arrange routine visits to the dentist, optician, hairdresser etc. for outside of school hours
Talk to us if your child doesn’t want to come to school for any reason so we can sort out any problems and make sure school is a happy experience
Talk to us if you are experiencing any difficulties at home which might impact on your child’s attendance or well-being. We may not be able to solve every problem ourselves but we usually know someone who can help you.