At Walderslade Primary School we know that good attendance helps children to achieve well and develop positive learning habits. With this in mind the school aspires to continually develop an exciting relevant curriculum for all children and to meet their needs socially, emotionally and academically within a safe and secure environment.
For our children to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend regularly and be at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. Any absence affects the pattern of a child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning.
Under the Education Act 1996 parents and carers have a legal duty to ensure that children of compulsory school age attend school on a regular and full time basis.
At Walderslade School we expect outstanding attendance and punctuality. Children are expected to arrive at school between 8.45am and 8.55am, with registration open between 8.55am and 9.05am. Children arriving after 8.55am but before 9.05am will be marked L (late), unless they have medical appointments or other authorised reasons for absence. If children arrive after 9.05am, their absence will be marked as U (after registers closed) this is unauthorised absence. The school has observed that children find it embarrassing to be late as arriving in the classroom alone draws unnecessary attention to themselves.
If parents know their child is going to be late for any reason, they must let the school know in advance.
Afternoon registration takes place between 1.15pm and 1.25pm.
Absences may be deemed Authorised or Unauthorised, depending on the circumstances. ALL unauthorised absences will be noted on the child’s school record and annual report to parents.
If a child is absent, then the parent /carer should inform school by telephone or note as soon as possible, and in any case by 9.30 am. After this time the Office will telephone to ensure that the child is safe. This is then recorded.
A telephone call must be made on the morning of each absence. A note or telephone call does not automatically mean an authorised absence. In the case of illness the school has the right to request further information. The Head Teacher has ultimate responsibility for authorising any absence.
If a child is persistently late a letter will be sent home informing the parents of the number of occassions and the teaching time lost.
Parents who wish to take their children out of school for any reason must put the request in writing to the Head Teacher. Each application will be viewed on an individual basis.
Absence will NOT be authorised
- For family holidays
- During the week of KS2 SATS testing in May or during the KS1 assessment period.
Authorisation may be considered for:
- Exceptional family circumstances (separation, illness) where a break would be seen as beneficial for the child
- Cultural/faith differences mean a child might need to visit a family abroad
Other authorised absence
- Medical appointments
- Educational visits including residential, day or visits to other schools
- Religious festival
Procedures and Monitoring
These procedures adhere to the DfE and Medway Local Authority guidelines.
The attendance data is managed and monitored by the school’s computerised registration and monitoring system. This system provides daily, weekly, termly and annual monitoring reports for both absence and lateness.
The Office monitors absence on a daily basis and will call parents/carers of children who have not arrived by 9.30am, unless the school has previously been informed of the reason for the absence, to check on the child’s wellbeing. If a child has been absent for more than 3 days without a valid reason being provided then the situation will be referred to the Attendance Advisory Service for Schools and Academies (AASSA).
Parents/carers will be notified in writing if the school has concerns about the persistent lateness of their child arriving at school or their poor attendance record. If after a discussion with the Head Teacher the problem continues then a formal letter will be sent to remind the parent/carer of their legal responsibility to ensure the child attends school on a regular basis.
At the end of term 3 and term 6, if a childs’ attendance is below 95% we will write to you to inform you.
If over a period of 2 terms the record of unauthorised absence drops below 95% or persistent lateness rises above 5%, the Attendance Advisory Practioner (AAP) for Medway Local Authority will be informed. The AAP will arrange a meeting with the parent/carer at home to discuss the problem.
Where a child’s attendance at school continues to be irregular or they continue to be persistently late then Medway Local Authority may issue the parent/carer with a Fixed Penalty Notice. The Fixed Penalty Notice fee is £60 if paid within 21 days but rises to £120 if delayed until 28 days.
The Head Teacher will keep the Governing Body informed of attendance statistics at all appropriate committee meetings