Attendance and Punctuality
Encouraging good attendance is a school priority; it is very important that you avoid unnecessary absences for your child. You can find our school's policy on attendance and punctuality here.
There are strong and consistently proven links between pupil attendance and educational achievement. Attendance of less than 95% (i.e. absences of 9.5 days or more out of the 190 pupil days in the school year) has been shown to compromise pupil attainment. At 90% attendance, pupils miss the equivalent of almost 4 weeks education (19 days) and are categorised as ‘persistent absentees’; only 10% of pupils who are persistently absent from school achieve five pass grades at GCSE level.
Schools have a statutory duty to record absences and the reasons given for these absences.
Parents/Carers are asked to inform our school on the first day of their children’s absence by using the Parentmail app. Alternatively, you can call the school and leave a voicemail by selecting option 1.
Definitions of absence:
- An absence is classified as authorised when a child has been away from school for a legitimate reason and the school has received notification from a parent or carer. For example, if a child has been unwell and the parent/ carer explains the absence to the school.
- Only the school can make an absence authorised. Parents and carers do not have this authority. Consequently, not all absences supported by parents and carers will be classified as authorised. For example, if a parent takes a child out of school to go shopping during school hours, this will not mean it is an authorised absence.
- An absence is classified as unauthorised when a child is away from school without the permission of both the school and a parent.
- Therefore, the absence is unauthorised if a child is away from school without good reason, even with the support of a parent.
Unauthorised leave of absence
The School holiday dates are published at least 6 months before the start of the next academic year and we strongly advise parents/carers to book their family holidays during the School holidays. There are approximately thirteen weeks of Schools holidays within a year. The Inclusion Service, acting on behalf of Surrey County Council, may issue a Penalty Notice as an alternative to the prosecution of a parent/carer for their child’s unauthorised absence from school and requires the recipient to pay a fixed amount.
Statutory information: The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013, which became law on 1st September 2013, state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The Headteacher is required to determine the number of school days a child can be away from School if leave is granted.
Children can arrive at school from 8.40am and they should be in school by 8.50am. The registers are taken in class shortly after this, at around 8.55am. If your child arrives after the register is taken, they will be marked as late. Children arriving after 9.15am (or 1.15pm in the afternoon) will be marked with an unauthorised absence for that session. If there is a valid reason for lateness, this may then be authorised at the discretion of the School.
Children should be collected punctually at the end of the school day. If a child is not collected by 3.30 pm the member of staff on duty will return them into the School, where parents will be contacted. Emergency contact numbers will be used and if we are unable to contact parents/carers, our local referral hub (Children’s Services) or the Police will be informed if any child is left uncollected after 5pm.
If parents/carers have an emergency that means they are going to be significantly late, the School should be informed as soon as possible: Clubland (the after-school daily club) may be able to take pupils until 6pm in an emergency, and a charge will be incurred for this which is payable to Clubland.
As mentioned above, the Education (Pupil Registration)(England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 state that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The Headteacher should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if leave is granted.
In accordance with the above Regulations, requests for leave of absence are treated sympathetically, but only in exceptional circumstances can they be approved. The policy of the Government to which this school has agreed, states that parents who take their child out of school for five days or more during term time, without the authority of the Headteacher, will each be liable to receive a penalty notice. Penalty Notices will be issued by the Local Authority.
The penalty is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days of receipt of the notice. If the penalty is not paid in full by the end of the 28-day period the Local Authority must prosecute the recipient for failing to ensure regular school attendance under section 444 Education Act 1996.
Please be aware that each parent is liable to receive a Penalty Notice for each child who incurs unauthorised absences, for example, if there are two parents and one child, each parent will receive one Penalty Notice.
If there are two parents and two children incurring unauthorised absences, each parent will receive two Penalty Notices, which in this case would amount to £120 each if paid within 21days.