Attendance Information School Attendance
The Governing Body of Glasshoughton Infant Academy is keen to ensure that every pupil achieves their full potential. Any letter, flyer, newsletter relating to attendance has one overall aim; to provide information for parents/carers in relation to their child’s attendance record and their education. Current information enables you to make decisions relating to your child’s learning and understand any action required by the Local Authority’s Education Welfare Officer, the class teacher and the school. A missed lesson, or day, or week can never be replaced.
As a parent myself I am well aware of the millions of decisions that we make for our children throughout their young lives. With infant schools it is clearly not the children who decide whether to come to school or not. However, if children get a message early in life that it is ‘okay’ to go on holiday during term time, have a couple of days off to make a long weekend, or stay at home because they have a minor ailment, they could continue to think this is acceptable; for example, when they are old enough to decide whether to go into senior school one day or college or work! Habits often stick with a person throughout their whole life.
Attendance in school is just as crucial (actually more so) when you are 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 years old because children learn more in the first years of life than at any other time. They learn the basics of language, mathematics, social skills and so on which form the building bricks for future learning.
Glasshoughton Infant Academy endeavours to provide the best possible education for every child but this can only be achieved if your child attends school regularly.
Holidays in Term Time
In November 2011 Governors reviewed their policy on the authorisation of holiday absence during term time. While being sympathetic towards parents with little option, they had to consider the following:
- Government research shows that poor attendance has a negative impact on pupil’s social and academic attainment. If you require further information or examples, please do not hesitate to contact our Family Mentor, Ms Coulthurst or the Local Authority Education Welfare Office.
- A requirement from Central Government that all schools must reduce their Persistent Absence levels (which includes both authorised and unauthorised) to below 5% by 2010.
- The need for a consistent policy across the whole pyramid (all feeder schools now have a ‘no authorisation’ policy).
On the recommendation of the Education Welfare Service and Headteacher, Governors have decided to discontinue authorising holidays during term time. This decision now brings the school in line with all schools in the locality and underlines the absolute importance of education in creating life chances for all pupils.
Copy of letter issued to parents 1st November 2011
As previously stated we do not authorise term time holidays unless it is an exceptional circumstance and this is the same with all Castleford schools. The school dates are published each year in advance and we strongly advise parents/carers to book family holidays during school holidays. We would like to make you aware that from January 2012 the Local Authority will rigorously issue a fixed penalty notice for such an absence which results in a fine of £60 per parent per child. If the fine is not paid within 28 days it will increase to £120 per parent per child.
Further action and/ or evidence can be requested by the school and Education Welfare Officer to verify a child’s absence e.g. medical evidence. Parents/carers could also be required to come along to school for an Attendance Panel meeting with myself, a Governor and an Education Welfare Officer. Such a panel decides what issues need considering and a Parent Contract set up with action for parents to take to improve the child’s attendance. If a family fails to achieve a significant improvement in attendance a fixed penalty notice would be issued. Failure to comply with a parents/carers legal responsibility to ensure your child attends school could result in legal action by the Local Authority Education Department.
A similar procedure exists for irregular attendance or persistent absences (where a child has an attendance rate of 85% or less)
Where possible medical and dental appointments should be made after school or during school holidays. We understand that this isn’t always possible, however, children should attend school prior to or following a medical appointment and avoid a full day’s absence.
In the last school year Wakefield Authority had one of the poorest rates of attendance and was also in the bottom three Authorities in the country for pupil academic attainment (End of Key Stage 2 Tests – Year 6). This is not surprising because School Attendance Matters (SAM) and if children do not come to school they very likely will underachieve. As harsh as this information may seem it is only the obvious outcome to poor attendance.
We monitor attendance daily and celebrate good attendance in assembly each Friday, at the end of each half term and at the end of the year. Historically we have only given you written information of your child’s attendance record in the end of year report and we now feel it is better to provide you with accurate and up to date information at the end of each half term. Our school computer generates attendance percentages for each individual child and we will let you know if your child falls into the lowest four attendance brackets, Less than.... 80%, 85%, 90% and 95% attendance. This is to enable you to monitor your child’s attendance rates and ensure that any Warning Letters or Penalty Notices are not a shock to you. You will also be better aware of any questions that you may wish to discuss with your child’s teacher during Open Parents Evenings or Parent Consultations regarding their attainment/achievements/gaps in learning as a consequence of absences.
Pupils at this school have achieved very well in the past and this is due to the skills of the teachers, our school support procedures and our past good attendance records which clearly reflects the majority of parent views, that School Attendance Matters.
*However, as attendance rates fall, good progress and high achievements will inevitably also begin to fall. Our own school data clearly shows that children with low levels of attendance do not achieve as well as their peers with good attendance.
As an infant school we do have a very important role to play in ensuring that children at whatever age do achieve high standards. Our current pupils will in a very short space of time be our Authorities Year 6 pupils, with well established habits and we do not want them to be one of the country’s lowest achievers........(as they were for 2011), so please send your child to school regularly in the Infant years (as well as all the rest). This will determine their future achievements!
We do appreciate that nursery and infant children are susceptible to childhood ailments, but we also recognise that the majority of parents get their children back to school as quickly as possible. We know that children want to be in school every day..... because they tell us! They enjoy their learning and their friendships and try really hard to have good attendance.
Persistent, irregular attendance and unauthorised attendance for holidays and odd days off/long weekends are the major reasons that our attendance percentage rates for 2010/11 were the lowest for many years and why some children did not achieve their full potential.
I hope this letter helps to explain why School Attendance Matters (SAM) and outlines the reasons why we want to keep you informed and up to date. If you have concerns and want ideas to help improve your child’s attendance please do not hesitate to speak with your child’s teacher.
School Attendance Matters!
Please keep the attached note for future reference
Glasshoughton Infant Academy – Attendance Procedures:-
*All absences should be reported to school on the first day of absence (a telephone message). An indication of the length of absence is helpful. If an unexpected second/third day of absence is required please telephone school to inform us of this.
*First Day Response - unexplained absences will be followed up the same day by 9.30am. Office staff will telephone the contact number(s) that we hold to determine the reason for the child’s absence/safety. In some cases this may be followed up by a member of staff calling at the home.
*A Letter requesting any time off should be addressed to the Headteacher. A written reply will be handed to your child to bring home. This is generally a standard format letter.
*Register checks – Unauthorised absence (unexplained absence & days for holidays), Persistent or Irregular attendance is monitored regularly by a Local Authority Education Officer. Warning letters and/or Penalty Notices will be issued.
*A Penalty Notice is a fine of £60 per parent per child (increases for late payments over 28 days to £120).
*Poor attendance may result in parents/carers being requested to provide evidence and /or come along to school for an Attendance Panel meeting
*A Parent Contract may be set up with actions to improve attendance
*Legal action by the Local Authority could be a last resort to improve attendance.
1st November 2011
GIA Annual School Attendance
Persistent Absence (below 90%)
Spring 2, Week 5
Whole School 93.2%
Giles Andreae Class – Mrs Hutchinson 90.5%
Pippa Goodhart Class – Mrs Crane 95.5%
Oliver Jeffers Class – Mrs Atkinson 92.9%
Anthony Browne Class – Miss Tate 94.3%
David Walliams Class – Mrs Fox 93.6%
James Mayhew Class – Mr Kennedy 92%
Attendance for Spring Term 1 (7.1.19 to 15.2.19)
|Class||Attendance||Authorised absences||Unauthorised Absences|
|Giles Andreae Class|
|Pippa Goodhart Class|
|Oliver Jeffers Class|
|Anthony Browne Class|
|David Walliams Class|
|James Mayhew Class|