At Westfield we pride ourselves on our exemplary attendance of both staff and pupils.
Research has shown that children who attend regularly do well in school and perform to their potential. Attendance matters and is vital to a child’s progress and attainment. Schools are exciting places to be and education can make a child’s life better and no child should be deprived of that opportunity. Good attendance is a partnership between school and parents; this policy seeks to clarify the school’s position on attendance.
- The external gates open at 8.45 a.m.
- Classroom doors open at 8.50 a.m.
- Classroom doors close and morning registration closes at 9.00 a.m.
- Once the outer doors are closed children can only enter through the main reception.
- Pupils arriving after 9.00 a.m. until 9.30 a.m. will be recorded as ‘late'.
- Arrivals after 9.30 a.m. will be recorded as ‘late after registration has closed’. This will be recorded as an unauthorised absence and will affect a pupil’s overall attendance.
- Parents of a pupil who persistently arrives late to school (i.e. after 09:00) will receive a letter advising them of the school’s concerns. If the matter is not resolved quickly, this may result in a Penalty Notice being issued and/or legal proceedings being considered.attendance.
Absences which may be authorised are sickness, medical appointments (with evidence where possible), family bereavement or authorised holiday.
All absences must be explained in writing by a parent/carer. The school will then make a decision as to whether or not the absence will be authorised. A letter containing a written explanation does not in itself authorise an absence; only the school’s acceptance of the explanation offered by the letter authorises the absence. Parents/Carers are not able to authorise and school can refuse (in exceptional circumstances) to accept their reasons for absence. Absence will be monitored by the school and letters may be sent to parents where there are concerns.
Family Holidays in Term Time
Government guidelines prevent Headteachers from granting any leave of absence during term time, unless there are exceptional circumstances. A family holiday during term-time therefore does not fall under the category of ‘exceptional circumstances’.
Where any pupil has absences recorded as a result of an unauthorised family holiday, we are required to inform Leicestershire County Council who will issue penalty notices. This applies to any unauthorised leave of absence taken reaching a total of 5 days or more in any school year.
Westfield Junior School will consider every application individually; its policy is NOT to grant leave of absence other than in the most exceptional circumstances. An application must be made in writing using the appropriate form (available from the school office or website) in advance of the absence.
All absence must be reported on the first day of illness as soon as possible. Parents/ Carers should indicate where possible the length of the child’s absence, for example, if a child has measles they will be expected to be off school for a week or more.
If parents fail to report a child’s absence from school, it will automatically be recorded as unauthorised.
Attendance Improvement Strategies
The school’s Attendance Improvement Officer monitors the attendance of all pupils at regular intervals throughout the academic year. Pupils with attendance below 90% are a cause for concern and will be clearly identified. Parents will initially receive a letter notifying them of the school’s concerns, depending on individual circumstances.
If a pupil’s absence continues to be a cause for concern, the government has introduced powers for the Local Authority to issue Penalty Notices and/or prosecution under the Education Act 1996 in cases where parents do not take responsibility for ensuring their child’s attendance at school.
The persistent absence threshold is 10%. If a pupil's individual overall absence rate is greater than or equal to 10%, the pupil will be classified as a persistent absentee.