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Is it important?

The first step in developing curious, confident, life-long learners is for all children to attend school each and every day.

Parents and carers are the most effective driving force for excellent attendance.  Families who insist on excellent attendance, and model this to their children, have the best results for progress and attainment when averaged across our school.  We encourage parents and carers to speak about the importance of excellent attendance on all occasions.   Please don’t ask your child to fabricate false reasons for absence – they can’t wait to tell us their secret!

If children don’t attend school well, they miss crucial parts of their learning leading to gaps in knowledge which grow year on year.

Children with excellent attendance build:

Expected Attendance Level

All children are expected to attend school regularly. The expectation of schools, the Local Authority and the Department for Education is that children attend school 100% unless they are too ill to be in school.

Reports sent home over the year show the attendance your child has over the academic year.  These are listed in a categories.  If your child has attendance of below 90%, they are listed as ‘Persistently Absent’.

What does good attendance look like?

The average pupil in our school has attendance of 97% approximately.  Over the year, an average pupil will take no more than 6 days off school in total for all reasons.  About 10% of our pupils do not take any days off school during the school year – well done you!

Good attenders have parents and carers who are good at ‘chivvying’ children along.  This means that even if their child is feeling under the weather, they are insistent that children attend school (‘You’ll be fine when you get there.’).  Parents will write a note in a planner or email the School Office so we can keep a particular eye on their child.  The child may have taken some medication before coming into school and may need some at lunchtime.  Parents who send in their ‘under the weather’ child are showing consideration to our busy staff who have to work harder when children are absent to prepare work to catch them up on their return.

We always prefer to make a call to you to collect your child rather than having an absent child unless they have sickness or diarrhoea.  If we call you about your child part way through the day, we will most likely as you about administering medication rather than taking your child home.

What’s the big deal with low attendance?

Firstly, when we have children with low attendance, our first thought is for the safety of your child.  Are they regularly absent due to neglect, physical/mental/verbal abuse or mistreatment?  While this is not the case very often, it is always a consideration for us for poor attenders.

Children with low attendance almost always achieve lower progress and lower attainment on average.  Whether the lack of attendance is for holidays, keeping an adult company, for a birthday, each day absent represents a closing the door on a higher grade  in GCSEs or setting the example that attendance isn’t important which follows children into secondary school and future employment.

In our experience, low absence which is tolerated/encouraged/permitted at primary school will often lead to persistent absence and school refusal once children go onto secondary schools.  This in turn can lead to children dropping out of education.

Encourage excellent attendance from the first days of Reception with us, and keep this up, to ensure that children take for granted that school attendance is not a choice later on.

Absence from School

If your child is too ill or unable to attend school,  you need to contact the School Office by calling  01458 250673 or emailing . The school will only “authorise” this absence if it is appropriate to do so. The School Office will make contact with parents regarding absence from school where parents do not inform them of the reasons.  The entire contact list will be called until we are assured that we know the reason for absence.  We ask that parents and carers always answer the phone as this saves time and our concern about the safety of your child.  In some circumstances, Mrs Doughty Davis may make a home visit.

Acceptable reasons for absence are:

Unacceptable reasons for absence:

Term time leave- exceptional circumstances

Government regulations have made it clear that Headteachers can only grant leave of absence in exceptional circumstances. Any request must be made in advance and in writing to the Headteacher. Circumstances where leave may be considered are;

Monitoring pupil absence

Parents and carers are committing an offence if they fail to ensure the regular and punctual attendance at school of their child. In ensuring the law is upheld, Huish Episcopi Primary School and the Attendance Officer work in partnership to monitor the attendance of children. Where attendance is irregular or below the expected level without medical confirmation, Huish Episcopi Primary School will send out letters, telephone or meet with parents to discuss any difficulties. Where attendance remains below an acceptable level without confirmed medical reasons, we will refer the matter to the Local Authority. The Local Authority have a duty to remind parents of their legal responsibilities regarding ensuring their children are receiving education appropriate to their needs. Ultimately, as a last resort, the local authority may have to consider taking legal action against the parents through the courts or issuing a fixed penalty notice in respect of the non-attendance.

Please see the Attendance policy on the Policy page of this website.