The staff of Uplands School are committed, in partnership with the parents, pupils, governors, and the Local Authority (LA) in this case Gloucestershire County Council, to maintaining a school which serves the community’s educational needs, and of which the community is proud.
The school staff, alongside the LA, firmly believe that all pupils benefit from regular school attendance, and there is a large body of research evidence to support this. The School is committed to encourage parents/carers to ensure that the children in their care achieve maximum possible attendance and that any problems that prevent full attendance are identified and acted on promptly.
We expect that all pupils will:
Arrive and leave school punctually;
Attend school appropriately prepared for the day
We expect that all parents/carers who have day to day responsibility for the children will:
Ensure school attendance and be aware of their legal responsibilities;
Ensure that the child/children in their care arrive at school punctually and prepared for the school day;
Ensure that they contact the school whenever the child/children is unable to attend school;
Contact the school before 10.00a.m. on the first day of the child’s absence and repeat this each consecutive day until they return
Contact the school promptly whenever any problem occurs that may keep the child away from school
Notify the school immediately of any change of address or contact details, especially mobile telephones
Notify the school of any family circumstances that might have an adverse affect on the child
Our school staff will:
Keep regular and accurate records of attendance for all pupils, at least twice daily (morning and afternoon);
Monitor every pupil’s attendance – this may include groups of pupils eg. FSM, Ethnicity
Contact parents as soon as possible when a pupil fails to attend where no message has been received to explain the absence;
Follow up all unexplained absences
Provide a sympathetic response to any pupil’s or parents’/carers’ concerns on attendance;
Make initial enquiries of parents/carers of pupils who are not attending regularly, express their concern and clarify the school’s and the Local Authority expectations with regard to regular school attendance;
Refer irregular and unjustified patterns of attendance to the Education Welfare Service;
Uplands School encourages regular attendance in the following ways:
By providing a caring and welcoming learning environment;
By responding promptly to a child’s or parent’s concerns about the school or other pupils;
By marking registers accurately and punctually during morning and afternoon registration. Registration is taken at 9.00am and closes at 9.15am. Therefore if a child arrives after registration but before 9.15am they will receive a late mark in the register. Pupils who arrive at school after the close of the register will receive an unauthorised registration.
By publishing and displaying attendance statistics in the school prospectus
By celebrating good and improved attendance;
By monitoring pupils, informing parents/carers in writing of irregular attendance, arranging meetings with them if necessary and referring the family to the Education Welfare Service if the irregular attendance or lateness continues.
Procedures for notifying us of your child’s absence from school:-
In order for the school’s Attendance Policy to be successful, every member of staff will make attendance a high priority and convey this to the pupils at all times. Parents/carers need to support these views in the home to ensure that children are receiving clear and consistent messages about the value of education.
In addition to this, the School has the following responsibilities:
Head Teacher, Governors and designated member of school staff with overall responsibility for attendance to:
Adopt the whole policy;
Ensure that the registration procedures are carried out efficiently and that appropriate resources are provided;
Initiate a scheme for contacting parents on the first day of absence;
Consult and liaise closely with the Education Welfare Service on a regular basis and take responsibility for ensuring appropriate pupils are identified and referred without delay;
To work in close collaboration with the Education Welfare Service during their termly/half termly register analysis;
Monitor and evaluate attendance with the Education Welfare Service
Authorise or unauthorise the attendance following the guidance set out in this policy
To complete registers accurately and punctually morning and afternoon
To follow up any unexplained non-attendance;
To record accurately all absences in the register;
To inform the designated person in charge of overall attendance of concerns
The regulation on leave of absence applies to all special schools and maintained schools. Schools have a discretionary power to grant a pupil time off school during the term and a number of examples are listed in the regulations. However, schools are not restricted to granting time off in those circumstances; they can also do so if they believe there are extenuating or compassionate reasons that justify the leave. For example, children who fall within the groups at particular risk may have needs that require the school to grant time off.
All applications for leave of absence must be made in advance by the parent(s), carer (s) or corporate parent that the pupil normally resides with, or on the day the illness first occurs, leading to a non-attendance at school.
With the exceptions of family holidays and employment, schools’ discretion around leave of absence is far-reaching. The school is able to refuse the whole period requested by a pupil’s parents, grant part of the period and refuse the remainder, or grant the whole of the period requested. Any leave of absence granted by a school must be recorded as authorised using the appropriate national code. Periods that are refused must be recorded as unauthorised.
All requests should be treated on a case by case basis within the school’s published attendance policies which should give it the flexibility to respond to difficult circumstances whilst discouraging unnecessary absence.
Persistent absence is regarded as any child with an attendance of 85% or below. Extra support, guidance and monitoring will be given to any child whose attendance falls below this figure, including a referral to the Educational Welfare Service, if necessary. Children whose attendance falls within this category will expect absence requests to be treated less favourably.
The issues that the school takes into account when considering whether to authorise any absence includes:
the amount of time requested
age of the pupil;
the pupil’s general absence/attendance record;
proximity of SATs and public examinations;
length of the proposed leave;
evidence of medical conditions;
pupil’s ability to catch up the work;
pupil’s educational needs;
general welfare of the pupil;
circumstances of the request,
purpose of the leave;
frequency of the activity;
when the request was made.
Absence in cases of sickness or if the child is unwell
If a child is sick, unwell and unable to attend school, then the parent is to ring school before 10.00am on the first day of illness and on each subsequent day of non-attendance.
The decision whether to send their child to school lies with the parent. However, the decision whether to authorise any absence lies with the Headteacher, or delegated person. When deciding whether to authorise the absence in these cases, the Headteacher will take into account:
age of the pupil;
the pupil’s general absence/attendance record;
evidence provided by a medical professional of medical conditions ;
frequency and length of absence, and other illnesses/absences, and the absence history of similar conditions/illnesses
Whether the child is a persistent absentee or not
Absence in cases of holiday requests
The School will respond to all requests for authorised absence from holiday requests and other absences using the school designated form. Parents will be asked to complete information indicating the requested dates of absence and the reasons for this. The parents are expected to contact the school if anything delays the pupil returning when expected.
The form will also include space for the school to indicate its decision and what action will be taken if permission has been refused and the parents keep their child away. The guidance for family holidays from the Local Authority will be issued to all parents which clarifies the reasons why a school may allow up to 10 days authorised absence in a school year.
A decision to authorise absence may include:
for service personnel and other employees who are prevented from taking holidays outside term-time if the holiday will have minimal disruption to the pupil’s education; and
when a family needs to spend time together to support each other during or after a crisis
restricted work commitments.
The LA recommends that holidays which are taken for the following reasons should not be authorised:
availability of cheap holidays;
availability of the desired accommodation;
poor weather experienced in school holiday periods; and
overlap with beginning or end of term.
Whilst the application must be made by the parent(s)/guardians(s) that the child normally
resides with, there is no restriction on who the holiday is taken with. This is a matter for the parent(s)/ guardians(s) not the school.
If the local code of practice allows, parents can be given a penalty notice or prosecuted for periods of unauthorised holidays. See Local Authority Advice.
TERM TIME SCHOOL LEAVE INFORMATION FOR PARENTS at UPLANDS COMMUNITY PRIMARY SCHOOL
IMPORTANT: Please read carefully the information below. As a parent/carer, you can demonstrate your commitment to your child’s education by avoiding removing your child from school wherever possible.
In exceptional circumstances, schools can approve more than 10 days holiday leave - called extended leave of absence or extended holidays. This would follow discussions with parents as to whether their plans could be changed to overlap with school holidays and thereby reduce the effect on their child’s education.
Research suggests that children who are taken out of school may never catch up on work they have missed. This can affect progress and self esteem and can be particularly harmful if the child is studying for final year examinations.
Children who struggle with English or Mathematics may also find it even harder to cope when they return to school, while younger children may find it difficult to renew friendships with their classmates.
WHAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
There are times during a school year when a child may experience particular problems because of term-time leave such as:
If the school refuses a request for term-time leave and the child is taken out of school, this will be recorded as unauthorised absence
The law does not say that parents have an automatic right to take their child out of school for holidays during term time.
However, in exceptional circumstances school may authorise, in advance, a request for a period of leave of up to ten days in any academic year. The request for leave must come from a parent with whom the child normally resides.
If a child then stays away from school for more than the authorised period this must be recorded as unauthorised absence and could be quoted in a prosecution for poor attendance.
Please contact your child’s Headteacher if you wish to discuss this issue.
Children should attend school for 190 days each year, and every day is important. Please help them not to miss any of this valuable time.
We hope that you will consider that your child’s education is too important to take them out of school during term time.