Here in St. Joseph’s, where every aspect of school life is built upon Gospel values, we seek to create an atmosphere, supported through prayer and worship, whereby everyone who has an interest in our community can feel valued and believe their happiness is pursuit of all, as we grow closer to Jesus Christ.

 

Through a curriculum that supports the holistic development of each child, by encouraging them to reach their full potential, we will maintain a high quality education within the resources available. We will seek to develop the necessary partnership links with home and parish so that all are able to participate as members in the wider community.

 

Introduction

Our school’s Attendance Policy is part of the school’s well being system. A good education is every child’s right and provides the best possible start in life. Good attendance and punctuality are crucial if children are to keep up with their work. Good habits are formed in primary school and work opportunities in life will be difficult if children have not attended school regularly and on time.

 

Aim

To promote high rates of attendance and punctuality, in order to provide each child with every opportunity to access the curriculum, to which they are entitled, to raise their achievement.

 

Guidance

At St. Joseph’s RC Primary School, we monitor both attendance and punctuality very carefully as we want to make sure we give every child the best start in life.  We can do this with your support by making sure children understand the importance of being at school regularly and on time.

 

Parents/Carers are requested to ring into school if their child is not well enough to attend. The school operates a first day response system, which means that a member of staff will ring parents/carers if their child is not in by close of registration and we have not been notified. This is to ensure the safety and well being of all children in our care and also provide reassurance to our parents that your child has arrived safely at school.

 

Parents/Carers must sign their children in and out if they come to or leave school at times other than normal start and finish times.

 

From 1st September 2013, DFE amended the regulations surrounding holidays in term time. The DFE has removed references to family holidays and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. These make it clear that the Headteacher may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances and gives no entitlement to parents to take their child on holiday during term time. From 1st September 2013 applications for leave must be in exceptional circumstances and the Headteacher must be satisfied that the circumstances are exceptional and warrant the granting of leave.

 

Exceptional circumstances are those that cannot be changed and are beyond parents/carers’ control e.g. close family bereavement, appointment for visa renewal or residency application, religious observance.

 

Procedural Guidelines from 1st September 2013

 

Parents/Carers

  • Leave of absence must be formally requested from and agreed by the Headteacher in advance of any absence. Retrospective requests will not be agreed.
  • Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence unless they are satisfied there are  exceptional circumstances
  • Low cost travel or arrangements made by a family member or friends are not deemed to be exceptional circumstance
  • Headteachers will determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted, in accordance with arrangements made by the school’s governing body
  • The Local Authority can fine parents/carers for failing to ensure their child attends school.

 

If it is an exceptional circumstance

  • Discuss the reason with the Headteacher
  • Ensure your child returns to school promptly at the end of the leave period determined by the Headteacher

 

What the School will do

  • The school will ensure that parents are informed well in advance of all school holiday dates
  • The school will work in partnership with travel agents to offer holiday discount vouchers to parents booking holidays during statutory holidays
  • If the request for leave of absence is granted, the school will write to the parents/carers confirming that leave has been authorised, the start and end dates and the consequences as to what action will be taken  if they fail to return to school by the given date
  • If parents insist on taking children on holiday during term time, then the pupil will be registered as absent without authorisation.  This may result in a fine in accordance with local authority procedures.
  • The school will work in partnership with the Attendance Team to raise levels of attendance
  • The Headteacher will notify the school’s Local Authority Attendance Development Officer of all unauthorised absences
  • When necessary, appropriate action will be taken by the School Attendance Development Officer

 

Monitoring

  • The Headteacher will be responsible for monitoring daily/weekly attendance and all individual requests for leave of absence
  • The school operates a first day contact policy and will make every endeavor to contact parents. If parents don’t respond the Attendance Officer will be contacted after three days
  • Where vulnerable pupils are concerned, the Attendance Officer will be contacted on the first day of absence if it has been impossible to contact parents/carers
  • The school will work closely with the Attendance Officer for any ‘missing’ children and with both the Attendance Officer and other settings for any child accessing alternative provision
  • Each half term office staff will print each child’s attendance and this will be monitored in school and a copy sent home for parents/carers information
  • There is a staged process where the school will write to parents if attendance falls below 95%. Copies of letters will be held on the child’s records.
  • Unauthorised absences will be reported to the LA by the Headteacher
  • All parental requests and decisions whether authorised or unauthorised will be held on record in the school office
  • The Governing Body, through Headteacher reports, will monitor the frequency of parental requests and the impact of authorised and unauthorised leave of absence on the school’s attendance targets