ABSENCES

Reporting Absence

• Parents must ring the school office on the first day of child’s absence giving the reason why he or she is not in school. If we do not hear from parents then a phone call is made by the school office to the parents; the telephone call should be backed up by a letter on the child’s return  to school explaining the precise reason for their absence.

• If no explanation has been received within 5 school days then a written reminder is sent to the parents by the office; if no reply is received after a further 2 days then the absence is recorded as ‘unauthorised’.

• Parents who are continually having to be chased for an explanation for their child’s absence will be notified that unless contact is received all absences will be unauthorised and a referral to the Education Welfare Service (EWS) may be made.

• Children arriving after 9.30am, unless for a notified reason (e.g. doctor’s appointment), will be recorded as having an unauthorised absence.

Monitoring Absence

• The attendance of all pupils is monitored fortnightly by the Head and school office.

• Pupils with less than 95% attendance are recorded on a spreadsheet which is emailed to the EWO.

• Children on the EWO referral lists are monitored weekly and figures emailed separately to the EWO.

• The Head Teacher and EWO meet regularly to monitor pupils with attendance below 95%, to decide on letters and referrals, and on which pupils to ‘fast track’.

• Parents of pupils whose attendance is below 95% receive letter 1.

• If there is no improvement within a month letter 2 is sent and the Head

discusses the issue with the parents.

• If there continues to be no improvement a formal referral may be made to (EW) Education Welfare (with the possibility of prosecution, fines etc.).

• At this point a discussion is held with EWO to decide if the parent/carer should be put on ‘Fast Track’ An action plan for improving the child’s attendance is drawn up and signed by the parents and school. The school may ask for medical evidence and parents should take their child to their GP. If no letter from the GP is forthcoming then we ask the parent to consent to the school contacting the GP via the EWO. If the parent withholds consent then all absences will be unauthorised.

• If this process is deemed unsuitable or unsuccessful legal action may be taken

• Attendance is celebrated termly by the Head or Deputy in Achievement Assemblies

Long term absence

• Where a child is off sick for more than 5 consecutive school days then medical evidence might be requested (e.g. a copy of the prescription).

• If no proof of illness is provided then the absence will be recorded as unauthorised and could lead to a referral to the Education Welfare Service.

• Where there is extended absence due to illness the school does provide work for the child to do at home

Holidays in term time

• There must be a written request from parents/carers if they wish to apply for holidays during term time.

• However, holidays taken during term time will be unauthorised, except in extenuating circumstances. This is in line with Bexley’s official policy.

Punctuality

• Children are recorded as late if they arrive after 8.55 am for Key Stage 2 and after 9.00 am for Key Stage 1 and Reception; they sign in at the office before going round to class; they are recorded as being late even if the teacher has yet to take the register.

• Children arriving after 9.30am, unless for a notified reason (e.g. doctor’s appointment), will be recorded as having an unauthorised absence.

• If they are late due to a dental/hospital appointment then an appointment card or confirmation from the parent/carer is needed.

• Lateness is monitored regularly.

• Discussions are held with parents/carers whose children are late on a regular basis.

• Punctuality is monitored by the EWO.

• Periodic late gates are conducted by the HT and/or the EWO,

Reviewed November 2013

Vicky Marsh,  Head Teacher

Deborah Regis Education Welfare Officer