The expectation at St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School:
Attendance should be at least 95% for every child
(Unless medical conditions or exceptional circumstances prevent this)
Parents will receive regular updates on attendance from school and the Headteacher and all the staff monitor attendance daily, weekly, half termly and termly. Children are rewarded in school for excellent attendance and they are very clear about why excellent attendance is important
Why is regular school attendance so important for my child?
The link between attendance and attainment in school is clear.
Regular attendance at school means that your child can make the most of their education and improve their chances in adult life. School can also help your child’s social skills such as making and developing friendships. A regular and punctual attendance pattern will help your child when they go to secondary school and later enter the world of work.
The more a pupil is in school the more they increase their opportunity to fulfil their potential.
Schools are legally required to take a register of pupils first thing in the morning and at some point in the afternoon. If a pupil is late but the register is still open they are marked as late. If the register has already closed when a pupil arrives late and without a satisfactory explanation, it may be classed as an unauthorised absence. This may lead to legal action for not ensuring regular and punctual school attendance. Punctuality is important because if, for example, a child arrives 15 minutes late at school each day, they lose almost 2 weeks of education a year!
Holidays during term time
No term time leave for holidays is routinely authorised at St. Mary’s School and only in exceptional circumstances may a head teacher grant permission for leave.
Parents who choose to take their child out of school without written permission from the school may be issued with a fixed penalty fine.
How can I help my child attend school regularly?
Talk to your child about school and take a positive interest in their work, including homework.
Keep in touch with school staff. Contact school on the first day of absence if your child is unable to attend for whatever reason. Attend parents’ evenings and other school events
What should I do if I’m worried about my child’s school attendance?
The first thing to do is to contact the school to discuss your concerns with Mr Manton or Mrs Broadley.
What are my responsibilities regarding my child’s school attendance?
As a parent/carer it is your responsibility to ensure that any child of compulsory school age attends school both regularly and on time. The local authority has a duty to make sure that all parents/carers fulfil this responsibility.
What will happen if my child does not attend school regularly?
The school should contact you in the first instance to raise concerns about your child’s attendance. If they see no improvement, or there are particular difficulties involved, a referral will be made to the Attendance Support Team.
What if my child’s school attendance does not improve?
Parents whose children are on a school register and fail to ensure the regular and punctual attendance of their child(ren), may be guilty of an offence under Section 444 or 444(1A) of the Education Act 1996 and the Local Authority may issue a Penalty Notice or take enforcement action through the Courts to secure regular attendance.
How will regular school attendance help my child?
School gives your child a wide range of opportunities and experiences in the form of academic lessons, educational trips and school clubs allowing them to develop their interests and achieve their full potential. Regular school attendance means that your child can make the most of their education.
Some important points
As a parent/carer you want the best for your children. Having a good education is an important factor in opening up more opportunities in adult life.
Did you know that:
- a child who is absent a day of school per week misses an equivalent of two years of their school life
- 90% of young people with absence rates below 85% fail to achieve five or more good grades of GCSE and around one third achieve no GCSEs at all
- poor examination results limit young people’s options and poor attendance suggests to colleges and employers that these students are unreliable
- 7.5 million school days are missed each year through unauthorised absence.
GCSEs may seem a long way off for you and your child but all absence at any stage leads to gaps in your child’s learning. This in turn can:
- mean that they fall behind in work
- affect their motivation
- affect their enjoyment of learning
- lead to poor behaviour
- affect their desire to attend school regularly
- affect their confidence in school
- mean they miss out on the social life of school and extra curricular opportunities and experiences
- affect their ability to have or keep friendships.