Attendance Registration Policy
Luston Primary School – Attendance Policy
Regular attendance at school is essential in order to make the best use of all the educational opportunities available and establishes a positive working ethos early in life. Luston Primary School aims to encourage and assist all pupils to achieve excellent levels of attendance and punctuality. It is important that children arrive at school on time to minimise disruption to other pupils and staff, and to enable them to participate fully in the first lesson of the day.
School starts promptly at 8.45 a.m. If a child arrives at school after 8.45 a.m. without prior arrangements having been agreed, he/she will be deemed late. Registers close at 9.00 a.m. and arrival at school after this time, without prior approval or extenuating circumstances, will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.
Pupils arriving at school after 8.45 a.m. must enter through the front door and report to the school office to be signed in. Pupils leaving school for any reason must report to the office before they go so that we can ensure that they are appropriately chaperoned. Registers are also taken when the children return to class after lunch: 1.00 p.m. in Key Stage 1 and 1.15 p.m. in Key Stage 2. Unexplained absences will be investigated by the school administrative staff.
If a child has to be away, parents are expected to let us know before 9.30 a.m. If we are unable to ascertain the reason the child is absent (from a sibling or other reliable source) and we haven’t heard from parent/carer before 9.30 a.m., we will contact the parent to establish the reason for their child’s absence. This is for the child’s protection and our peace of mind, ensuring that the child is safe. Please keep us informed on subsequent days, with a phone call. If we have spoken to the parent/carer in person or on the telephone, it is still necessary to send a written note when your child returns to school so that the Head Teacher can decide whether the absence is authorised or unauthorised. Apart from medical emergencies or hospital appointments, arrangements to visit doctors, dentists etc. should be made out of school hours, where possible.
Absences from school may be authorised for the following reasons:
- unavoidable medical/dental appointments
- days of religious observance
- exceptional family circumstances, such as bereavement
If the reason for absence is an infectious disease such as measles, rubella, chicken pox, mumps or meningitis, we need to know as soon as possible as they are notifiable diseases. If a child is unwell for any reason it is best to keep him/her at home until recovered, for his/her own sake as well as for the other children’s sake. In order to control infections, children who have vomited or have diarrhoea must stay off school for at least 48 hours after the last incidence of sickness or diarrhoea.
It is the legal responsibility of parents/carers to ensure that their children attend school. Where holidays are taken outside normal school holidays, permission must be sought from the Head Teacher. A letter must be written to the Head Teacher stating why the holiday must be taken outside of normal school holidays. This will be followed by an appointment with the Head Teacher to discuss the content of the letter. The Head Teacher will give the application for absence her consideration and inform parents/carers of her decision. Under no circumstances will absences be authorised during Standardised Assessment Tests (SATS). No child is allowed to exceed two weeks in one academic year, except in rare instances and after the Head Teacher has consulted the Local Authority. Any more than that is ‘unauthorised’ and a record has to be kept of such absences and sent to the Local Authority. The number of absences for each school is published nationally and will also be included in the child’s annual report.
If parents/carers have a problem which makes a child’s attendance at school difficult, they must contact us and we will do whatever we can to help. Any child whose continuing absence causes us concern will be referred to the Education Welfare Service to enable relevant support to be given to the family.
Operational Enforcement of Luston Primary School’s Attendance Policy
At the beginning of the day, any phone calls relating to absenteeism are recorded in one of two books placed by the phones in the office and in the staffroom. Any information supplied by other reliable sources is also written in one of these books.
Between 8.45 a.m. and 9.00 a.m. registration is completed electronically in each class, using Capita’s Schools’ Information Management System (SIMS). Between 8.45 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. the office staff will access the SIMS program and investigate unexplained absences. This may be by looking at the phone records or asking reliable siblings and/or lift sharers.
At 9.30 a.m. phone calls commence to ascertain reasons for absence. Robust maintenance of up-to-date records ensures that the office has several contacts for each child. Investigation of absence will continue until every child is safely accounted for. In circumstances where any contact is unable to be established to explain a child’s absence, then the local police team will be notified and a “Safe and Well” check instigated.
The School Administrator will regularly review the attendance and run reports to highlight regular absences and absence trends. She will meet each term with the Education Welfare Officer to enable a regular review of attendance figures. The Head Teacher will be informed of any concerns and will follow them up with parents.
- Staff and governors were consulted about this policy during the autumn term 2012.
- The Governing Body accepted this policy on 4th December, 2012
Sebastian Bowen, Chair of Governors