As you will be aware, good school attendance gives your child the opportunity for success and to develop skills for life. Your child should attend school every day unless there is an unavoidable cause like an illness. Regular attendance is crucial if children are to reach their full potential, build their social skills and friendships, develop a love of learning and be prepared for their future.
At Homelands, we monitor all children’s attendance very closely each term and meet regularly with our Educational Welfare Officer (EWO), Alison Down, to discuss this. Together we review the attendance of those children who have fallen below 96% and we also look at the attendance of children who are classed as persistent absentees (those with attendance that is below 90%). We then write to families in order to work together to make plans to improve attendance. Any letters sent to parents are standard letters and do sound very formal; and it may well be that you have already spoken to us with regards to the reasons for an absence.
Absence during term time can only be authorised in exceptional circumstances and high levels of absence for children on unauthorised holiday contributes to low overall attendance percentage. We would ask that if at all possible, you avoid taking children out of school during term time. With regards to routine medical or dental appointments, could we please ask that where possible, these are booked either after school or during the school holidays. We do understand that specialist appointments are allocated at specific times and these cannot be altered.
It is essential that you contact the school if your child is unwell and unable to attend school. This is part of our commitment to safeguarding your children – we need to know why they are absent and that they are safe. The school office will continue to contact the parents of those children who are not in school, if we haven’t received any reason for their non-attendance. If a child complains of feeling unwell during the school day we will assess their condition and, either continue to monitor them on a regular basis, or call parents for advice on how they would like us to proceed for the remainder of the day (e.g.) come and collect their child or keep them in school.
If a child has an accident and sustains an injury that needs further treatment during the school day, we will continue to contact parents immediately. It is essential that we have up to date contact numbers in the office for this reason.
We would like to thank you for your help with these procedures and for supporting the school in its efforts to raise attendance. If you have any questions concerning attendance please do not hesitate to contact us.
(Based on 190 academic days)
Attendance of 90% every year over 10 years of school life = 1 whole year of school lost!
Punctuality is also very important. A child who is late receives an unauthorised absence, but did you know that ……
All children aged between 5 and 16 are required by law to receive a full-time education, and it is the duty of parents and carers to ensure that they are supported to do so. Children sometimes have to miss school because of illness or if they have long term medical issues. If this is the case, parents should contact school the same day to let them know the reason that their child is not in school. Please be assured that, whilst illness happens to us all, we can support and care for children with a slight cough, tiredness and general ‘feeling under the weather’. School will always call you if we feel that a child needs to be at home but, usually, everyday school life and friendships will keep a child going and support learning and progress.