Bishops Cannings Church of England (Aided) Primary School believes that the children it serves have the right to a high quality education. To help us help your children, it is vital that, barring illness, they are in school. If you make sure your child comes to school you are doing much to ensure that they are successful in adulthood.
Recent reports* for the Department of Education have outlined consequences of poor attendance:
Pupil absence means falling results
"The poor attendance of a number of pupils can disrupt their own learning and that of other pupils. These children quickly begin to fall behind their peers and often never fully catch up with gaps in their skills or knowledge. Over time these pupils become bored and disillusioned with education and by years 10 and year 11 they are lost to the system. These pupils are the most likely to become ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’ (NEET) when they leave school and easily fall into anti-social behaviour and crime".
"Not surprisingly there is a clear link between poor attendance at school and low levels of achievement. Of pupils who miss more than 50 per cent of school only three per cent manage to achieve five A* to Cs including English and maths. Of pupils who miss between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of school, only 35 per cent manage to achieve five A* to C GCSEs including English and maths".
We monitor attendance!
Our governing body insists that the Headteacher monitors lateness and absence in the school. This means that the Headteacher and the admin team will look for patterns in absence and for low attendance over time. If a child's attendance drops below 95%, we will work with parents to improve attendance for the sake of their child's education. If attendance does not improve, then we are under an obligation to discuss our concerns with the education welfare officer, or in some circumstances, pursue the matter through the courts. We do understand that there are always exceptions to the rule and no-one can help getting ill but we want to be sure that where children are absent from school that there are valid reasons for this absence.
Holidays in Term Time
There are very few times when the school can justify authorising absence during term time, although every case will be assessed on its merits. Absence requests for holidays in September or May will not be authorised.
Taking your child out of school for a holiday in term time just because it is a cheaper option than having a break during official school holidays is not a reason for your child missing school.
By keeping your child out of school you are potentially damaging their future prospects, both at school and in the world of work. This is equally true whether your child is in the Foundation Stage, the Primary Phase or the Secondary Phase.
What this means for you
The school has to account for attendance and it is a criteria upon which our school will be assessed in any Ofsted inspection. Where your child has 10 or more sessions unauthorised absence in a six month period, the school will ask the local authority to issue a penalty notice. That means a £60 fine per parent, per child if the fine is paid within 28 days of receiving the notice or £120 if over 28 days. (Please note that these are new amounts that have come into force for September 2012).
If your child is going to be absent due to illness, please let us know
Please contact the school before 9.00 a.m. if your child is going to be absent due to illness. There is an answerphone service available, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org It would be really helpful if you could give a rough indication of when you expect your child to return to school. If as a result of illness your child has suffered from vomiting or diarrhoea, you should keep your child at home for 48 hours after the last episode. This will ensure the illness does not spread throughout the school.