WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CHILD IS ABSENT:
If your child cannot come to school you must:
Phone the school, preferably before 9.15am, to let us know that your child will be off and why.
If you cannot phone school yourself try and pass a message to school through another parent you know, please do not wait until your child returns to school.
If your child has an appointment and will be off for part of the day you can show us the letter or appointment card.
If you do not contact school n the first day of absence we will try to contact you, this ay include coming out to your house.
If you do not provide school with a reason for absence we have no choice but it mark it as unauthorised.
HOLIDAYS IN SCHOOL TIME:
Government rule about taking holidays in school time are increasingly strict. In line with this school cannot allow any holidays unless there are really exceptional circumstances. This includes trips to country of origin, which can be made during school holiday times.
It is likely that parents/carers will receive a fine (Fixed Penalty Notice) from the council if they take their children on holiday during term time.
If you need time off during school time please speak to the officer for more details.
HOW ABSENCES ARE COUNTED:
Attendance is counted in sessions. The school day is made up of two sessions, the morning and the afternoon. If a child is absent in the morning but comes into school in the afternoon they have missed one session, if they are absent for the whole day they have missed two sessions.
This is when the school authorises an absence because they agree that the reason is acceptable, for example:
- Illness severe enough to prevent the child coming to school
- Exceptional family circumstances
- Part of the day being missed for an essential medical appointment – routine check ups should not be done in school time.
This is when the school has not allowed the absences because the reason is not acceptable, for example:
- Taking a whole day off school for a medical appointment
- Minor illnesses or very frequent absence due to Minor illness unless backed up with a medical note
- Birthdays or day trips
- Being tired
ABSENCES DUE TO EXTREME LATENESS:
If a child comes to school after registration period closes at 9.30am they are considered so late that they will lose their morning mark. This type of absence is automatically an unauthorised absence.
This is the group of children that schools and the council must particularly concentrate on because there attendance is poor. The Department for Education refers to a Persistent Absentee as pupils who have an attendance below a certain level. Previous that level have been 85%, but from September 2015 that has changed to 90%. 90% attendance means a child has been absent for 19 days in the school year.
Persistent absenteeism is monitored every half term and children who have missed a certain number of sessions (half days) will be considered at risk of becoming persistent absentees by the end of the school year.
Persistent absence is monitored throughout the year and the names of children missing a high level of school time (regardless of the reason for absence) are collected by the Department for Education each half term.
Even if an absence is authorised it is still an absence and will count towards a final figure at the end of the year.
Persistent Absenteeism can result in Fixed Penalty Notice warnings and fines or legal action.
We know that sometimes children need urgent appointments, or parents/carers are given very little choice about the times for hospital appointments. however most appointments are routine, e.g. dental check ups, non urgent GP appointments. A lot of school time is missed due to routine medical appointments that could be arranged for a different time. While we understand that it can be hard to get appointments, we encourage parents/carers to make appointments outside of school time, or at least at the very beginning or end of the school day so children miss the least amount of time.
WHY GOOD ATTENDANCE IS SO IMPORTANT:
At St. Patrick’s we believe that a good education gives children opportunities for life. A good education starts with good attendance. Being I school regularly gives children the best chance to learn and to get the most out of all that school has to offer, such as the chance to socialize and have friends and to be involved in a huge range of activities from sports to music.
Attendance is important in every year group; in early years children learn the foundations for all of their future learning, and every year children learn more, building their knowledge and understanding.
St. Patrick’s is a happy, successful school and you child is part of that. We aim to give them the best opportunities for a great future.
WE REGULARLY REWARD GOOD ATTENDANCE:
Currently are rewards include:
Weekly prizes for children who have been in school every day all week.
Termly certificates and prize draws for excellent attendance in a term
Annual certificates and prize draws for excellent attendance all year
PERCENTAGES IN TERMS OF DAYS:
We talk about attendance levels in terms of percentages but what does that actually mean in days?
There are 190 days in a school year.
Percentage level Days in school Days absent
during the year during the year during the year
100% = 190 days = 0 days
97% = 184 days = 6 days
95% = 180 day = 10 days
90% = 171 days = 19 days
85% = 161 days = 29 days
80% = 152 days = 38 days
TIPS FOR GOOD ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY:
Children should go to bed early enough:
Tired children are hard to wake up and find it difficult to learn. Going to bed at a reasonable time makes things easier for them and you.
Be in school regularly an on time:
It is settling for children and helps them get into a routine. The more regularly they are in school and on time the more they get used to it.
Get up early enough:
Avoid rushing and feeling stressed. Get up early enough and give yourself enough time to get ready.
Limit TV or game time in the morning:
Avoid arguments and lateness by limiting how long they are allowed to watch TV or play games in the morning. If it regularly causes problems think about banning it completely in the mornings.
Get things ready the night before:
If uniforms, packed lunches, etc. are ready the night before it saves a lot of time in the mornings.
Make time for breakfast – or come to Breakfast Club at school:
Making time for breakfast can help to keep things calm in the morning and saves time rather than having to stop at the shops on the way to school. Or come to our school Breakfast Club where children have time to eat, play and get ready for the school day. The club opens at 8.15am.