Full attendance maximises the opportunities for inclusion and achievement at school so that every pupil is able to realise their full potential. Pupils, parents and carers, teachers, support staff and governors all have a role in maintaining a high standard of attendance and punctuality.
At St James we have developed a systematic approach to gathering, analysing and responding to attendance data in order to improve the overall attendance of our children to the best it can be.
While we recognise that illness happens to every child at some time or other – we aim to have a 96% attendance record for every class every term.
Registers are completed by class teachers at the beginning of every morning and afternoon session. Children present are marked with a /. Children absent are marked with a N (no reason given) until we receive and absence form with the reason that they have not been in school. At that point the register is changed to indicate the reason given such as I for illness. Children who miss register are marked with an L to indicate lateness. If after a period of time no reason has been given for an absence the N is changed to an O which indicates an authorised absence.
The Department of Education have stated that ‘head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time, unless they consider there to be ‘exceptional circumstances’ for doing so’.
At St James, every request will be dealt with on an individual basis, but exceptional circumstances will be judged to be when ‘the unique and significant emotional, educational or spiritual value to the child outweighs the loss of teaching time.’ This may include the birth of a sibling, a family wedding or funeral, but it does not include general holiday.
A leave of absence must be authorised by the school in advance by completing the form in the school office. (see below)
The new guidelines also state that if a child is away for more than 10 days unauthorised leave in a school year, the school must pass on their details to the local authority who will decide on a course of action. This may include a fine per child per day.
For more information on absence during term time, you can visit the Department of Education website, www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education
School starts at 8.50am and registers are taken in the morning at 9am. It is important that children arrive in plenty of time for the start of school, so they can enter with their classmates and receive any instructions from their teacher.
All classes settle straight down to work on tasks such as handwriting practice, mental maths or reviewing their work from the day before. Teachers use this as a way of focusing the children during register sessions and preparing them for the day ahead. They will discuss their timetable for that day and children who arrive late often miss out on the valuable time in class.
If your child arrives after 9am, they will be asked to enter school via the office and sign in on the late register. An email will be sent to parents of children who have been later that day confirming this. Children who are continually late, may be asked to make up the learning time missed in a break or lunchtime. Punctuality is a priority for us and we will monitor it closely.
You can download our Attendance policy here