Attendance Guidelines

 

Dry Drayton C of E Primary School

Attendance Information for Parents/Carers

January 2019

 

EVERY LESSON COUNTS

Days off school add up to lost learning and impact on your child’s life chances.

 

Education welfare

All children and young people are entitled to the highest quality education which enables them to achieve their best. Parents have a legal duty to ensure that their child receives an education suitable to his/her age, ability and aptitude and any special needs. Since your child is registered at our school he/she must by law attend regularly and punctually. Your child should only miss school if he/she is ill or unable to attend for some other unavoidable reason. If your child is absent and school either does not receive an explanation from you, or considers the explanation unsatisfactory, it will record your child’s absence as ‘unauthorised’, that is, as truancy.

 

Reporting your child’s Absence

If your child is unable to attend school you are required to inform the school by phoning 01954 780618 or sending an email to office@drydrayton.cambs.sch.uk  Remember to tell us:

  • Your child’s full name
  • The date of absence
  • The reason for absence
  • Expected date of return (if known) please make contact daily until your child does return to school.

A note, email or telephone call is also required if your child is going to arrive at school after registration. If there is no note or if we are unable to authorise the reason for absence, the absence will count as unauthorised.

Most absences for acceptable reasons will be authorised by school:

  • sickness
  • unavoidable medical or dental appointments (if possible, arrange these for after school or during school holidays)
  • family bereavement
  • interviews/visits to secondary schools
  • days of religious observance

We use a local authority Education Welfare Officer (EWO) who advises us and helps us to manage poor attendance, combined with a three letter system to advise you of poor attendance and to support you and your child to attend school regularly (See Every Lesson Counts chart). If your child’s attendance is unsatisfactory and not improving despite support from the school, the school will make a referral for an Education Welfare Officer to follow formal processes.

 

Is there a proven link between attendance and children’s achievement in school?

Yes. There is a clear link between poor attendance at school and lower academic achievement. A government report released by the DfE in March 2016 showed evidence that the national campaign to raise attainment standards by tackling persistent absence and truancy, is having a positive impact.

The report makes links between attendance and attainment, and indicated that every day missed was associated with a lower attainment outcome, irrelevant of the reason for absence.

In primary schools, less than 65% of children get good results in Maths and English in schools when they have an average of 15 days absence, compared to around 90% in schools where the average is less than 8 days. Many parents are surprised how quickly their children accumulate 15 days absence.

79% of pupils with full attendance in key stage 4 achieved five or more GCSEs pass grades including Maths and English. For those pupils whose attendance is 90% or below, the rate of pupils still achieving 5+ of the top grades has decreased to just 36%. While GCSEs may seem some time away, setting good attendance and punctuality patterns from an early age, from nursery and Reception through to Year 6, will really help. We will be celebrating 100% termly attendance in our celebration assemblies. (Please note that we are always sensitive to those children whose attendance may have been affected by unfortunate circumstances)

 

Your rights and responsibilities

By law, all children of compulsory school age must get a suitable, full-time education. As a parent/carer, you are responsible for making sure this happens. Once your child is registered at Dry Drayton, you are responsible for making sure he or she attends regularly. If your child fails to attend regularly – even if they miss school without you knowing – the Local Authority (LA) may take legal action against you.  The LA is responsible for making sure that parents/carers fulfil their responsibilities, and the school must tell the LA if your child is regularly absent from school. As a parent/carer, you are committing an offence if you fail to make sure that your child attends school regularly. You run the risk of being prosecuted by the LA if your child’s attendance is poor; parents/carers can even be fined or imprisoned for failing to ensure that their child attends school regularly.

At Dry Drayton, we work with you in partnership to ensure that this does not happen. We have a policy on attendance that you can find on our website, and strongly encourage you to speak to your child’s class teacher if you are having difficulties with getting your child to school on time. It is better to do this sooner rather than later, as most problems can be dealt with very quickly.

 

What you can do

Make sure your child arrives at school on time; the bell is rung at 8.50am. This encourages habits of good timekeeping and lessens any possible classroom disruption. If your child arrives after the register has closed at 9am without a good reason, this will be recorded as an ‘unauthorised’ absence for that session.

If your child has to miss school, it is vital that you let the school know why. You should discuss the reasons as early as possible, or, if it is due to illness, please contact the school on the first morning of the absence by ringing the office on 01954 780618 and or sending an email to office@drydrayton.cambs.sch.uk. Unacceptable reasons for missing school include shopping and birthdays and the School does not usually authorise holidays in term time. Unauthorised absences do not automatically become authorised by parents giving a note.

Make sure your child understands that you do not approve of them missing school and be on the alert for any particular reasons for non-attendance, such as friendship issues or problems with school work; please discuss these with us as early as possible.

 

How we can help

Book an appointment with either your child’s class teacher or any member of the Senior Management Team if you have any concerns about your child and their attendance at school. Alternatively, you can contact an Education Welfare Officer (EWO) through the school, or through one of the District Teams.

 

Further Information –

Minutes Lost Chart

Every Lesson Counts!