Attendance

Reception to Year 6

Statistics show that a child who is absent for one day per fortnight will have missed one year of school (190 days) by the time they leave secondary education.

The senior leader responsible for attendance is the Head of School, supported by the office team who are the first point of contact in the school for parents reporting absences.

Q1. When does my child need to arrive at school?

  • The school will be open in the morning from 8:45am
  • Children should enter the school via the main playground gates which are opened at 8.45am. Children should line up according to their classes. At 8.50am the classes are led into their classes their class teacher / support staff and parents are asked not to enter the school buildin
  • Registration is at 8.55am
  • The school gates are closed at 9am

Q2. What happens if my child is late?

  • If your child arrives after the school playground gates have been closed, you should take your child into school via the main entrance by the school office. A member of staff will enter your child into the lates book and your child will be marked in as late. You will be expected to provide a valid reason for their lateness.
  • If your child arrives after 9am, they need to report to the school office and you must sign them in. You will be expected to provide a valid reason for their lateness and this will equate to a half day’s absence and will show on your child’s end of year report.

Q3. How can I notify the school that my child is absent?

  • Please telephone the school on 0208 343 0864 or 020 8343 0866) and leave a message on the first day of absence and update us each day if the absence continues. Alternatively you can email the school office at office@stmarysn3.barnetmail.net
  • Parents / Carers must also provide a written explanation on your child’s return to school by email.
  • If you experience difficulties communicating in this way please speak to a member of the office staff.

Q4. What reasons does the school accept for absence?

  • Illness. Please show a doctor’s appointment card or medical evidence such as medication provided to the office staff when your child returns to school if possible.
  • Unavoidable urgent medical/dental appointments. All routine appointments should take place after school or in school holidays. Please provide medical evidence for these.
  • Religious observance This is restricted to specific days.
  • Family bereavement.
  • Participation in an approved public performance.
  • In cases of urgent medical/dental appointments: if the appointment is at the beginning of the day you should bring your child to school afterwards. If the appointment is later in the day your child should be collected early from school (rather than taking the whole day off as absent).
  • School interviews / Entrance exams: if the appointment is at the beginning of the day you should bring your child to school afterwards. If the appointment is later in the day your child should be collected early from school (rather than taking the whole day off as absent). Time off will not be authorised for revision purposes.

Q5. What medical evidence is required?

  • The medical evidence can either be an appointment card to show that your child has been seen by a doctor or any medication that a doctor has prescribed. Please note that we require a medical document for all absences either prior to or after a school holiday.
  • In cases of recurring absences or attendance below 96% you will need to bring in either an appointment card to show that your child’s illness has been assessed by your GP or any medication that has been prescribed for your child. Please note that unless medical evidence is provided recurring/frequent absences are treated as unauthorised.
  • In cases of urgent medical/dental appointments parents are expected to produce an appointment card and children are expected to attend school prior to and after the appointment.

Q6. Can my child attend school when he/she is on medication?

Yes, your child can come back to school as soon as he/she is feeling better. You will need to bring the medication to school (if it is prescribed to be administered 4 times a day) and complete a form allowing a member of staff to administer the medication.

Please note we have a 48-hour exclusion period following on from sickness and stomach illnesses.

Q7. What is an unacceptable reason for absence?

The school will not authorise absences for:

  • A child being tired
  • Day trips
  • Holidays
  • Birthdays
  • Visiting relatives
  • Collecting relatives from an airport
  • Shopping
  • Parent has to look after siblings who are ill. We ask that you make alternative arrangements for someone to look after the sibling whilst you bring your child to school
  • Parent illness. We ask that if you are ill and unable to bring your child to school you make arrangements for a friend or relative to bring your child to schoolParent unable to bring their child to school as they are away and their child is staying with a friend or relative who is unable to bring your child to school. We ask that you ensure that your friend or relative can bring your child to school.
  • Parent unable to collect their child on time. We ask that you make alternative arrangements or register your child for the after-school club that day
  • Non- urgent medical or dental appointments
  • Absence longer than leave authorised by the school

Please note that this list is not exhaustive.

Q8. What is an unauthorised absence?

These are absences where:

  • We do not receive an explanation.
  • Your child has frequent absences without medical evidence.
  • The explanation is unsatisfactory (see Q7 for details)

Unauthorised absences are detailed on your child’s attendance report that you will receive at the end of each year with your child’s report.

Q9. Will the school contact me if my child is absent?

  • We may choose to telephone you if your child fails to attend school in time for morning registration.
  • If your child is an independent traveller and fails to show up to school by the close of registration, we will make every effort to contact you or a member of your emergency contact list. If we fail to make contact we may contact the Police.
  • You are expected to contact the school yourself on the first day of your child’s absence by calling 0208 343 0864 or 020 8343 0866
  • Please note, that this is an answering phone service and will not be answered by a member of staff. Therefore, please do not use it for any purpose other than to report absence.
  • The school will communicate with you regarding attendance issues.

Q10. Will the school monitor my child’s attendance?

  • The school monitors attendance for all children closely and the name of any child whose attendance is below 96% is monitored each half term.
  • Parents whose child’s attendance is below 90% are invited by letter to meet with the Educational Welfare Officer.

Q11. Can we take family holidays during term time?

NO. Family holidays must be taken during school holidays and NOT during term time. If you take your child out of school to go on holiday without the express permission of the school, you will receive a Fixed Penalty Notice.

Q11. What are exceptional circumstances?

Exceptional circumstances are usually family emergencies, unavoidable situations or important family events, and for which we may require evidence. Emergencies can be notified to the school at the earliest opportunity.

Other requests must be made in writing before making travel arrangements. Parents cannot assume permission will be given. Please note that permission can only be granted for a specific period of time. Failing to follow the policy will lead to a Fixed Penalty Notice. A request for absence form can be found on the school website or from the school office.

Q12. What is a Fixed Penalty Notice?

A Fixed Penalty Notice is a fine issued by the Local Authority to parents who take their child on holiday, or out of school, during term time without the express consent of the school. Such absences are referred to the Education Welfare Team who may impose a fixed penalty fine of £60 (per parent) if paid within 21 days rising to £120 per parent for each child if paid within 28 days.

If the notice remains unpaid after the 28th day, the Local Authority may prosecute the parent in the Magistrates’ Court for the original non-attendance offence under The Education Act 1996, section 444, and not for non-payment of the penalty notice. If found guilty, parents will have a criminal record, possibly receive a fine of up to £1,000, for a first offence, and be required to pay costs to the Local Authority. There is no right of appeal against a Fixed-Penalty Notice.

Q13. What can I do to encourage my child to attend school?

  • Make sure your child gets enough sleep and gets up in plenty of time each morning to have breakfast before coming to school.
  • Ensure that they leave home in school uniform and any items they need for the day e.g. homework, PE kit, swimming kit.
  • Look in their school bags and communicate with your child’s teachers.
  • Show your child, by your interest, that you value their education.

Come in and speak to Ms Watson in the case of any difficulty.

Q14. My child is trying to avoid coming to school. What should I do?

Contact your child’s teacher immediately to discuss your concerns. Your child could be avoiding school for a number of reasons:

  • Family difficulties
  • Difficulties with school work
  • Bullying
  • Friendship problems

If the problem persists, telephone the school office and ask for an appointment to speak to Mrs Hinson.

We thank you for your co-operation in ensuring that your child’s attendance is the best it can be.