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Attendance

What are Hurst Drive Primary School's expectations of school attendance?

 

Our aim is for every child to be in school each and every day.  This is because absence and lateness mean lost learning time which has a terrible effect on your child's chances of success in education and adulthood.

 

Making sure your child attends school as much as possible means:-

 

  • Your child will build friendships easily, making them happier and more confident;
  • Your child will have the same education and opportunities as everyone else in the class;
  • You won’t need to worry about catching up on work, or that your child might fall behind because of missing an important lesson; and,
  • Your child won’t miss out on activities at the start and end of term which are always lots of fun!

 

As a school, we aim to support parents and carers in ensuring their child has good attendance and punctuality by providing the following:

 

  • A Breakfast Club;
  • Cheap after-school Wraparound Care (i.e. £8 per session 3:15-6:00pm for 1 child or £10 per session for 2 or more children from the same family); and,
  • Rewarding children for their attendance (e.g. a weekly attendance prize, a termly certificate for maintaining 100% attendance, an annual prize draw for those children maintaining 100% attendance).  

 

The following information is taken from our Attendance Policy.  

 

When does a child's parent/carer receive information about their child's attendance at school?

 

A child’s attendance is reported to their parent/carer six times a year as detailed below:

 

  • In October, in person at the first parent and carer consultation meeting;
  • In December, via a letter at the end of term;
  • In February/March, in person at the first parent and carer consultation meeting;
  • In March/April, via a letter at the end of term;
  • In May, via letter at the end of the half term; and,
  • In July, via the written end-of-year report.

 

If your child maintains 100% attendance, they will receive a certificate at the end of the autumn, spring and summer terms, and their name will be entered into a prize draw in July to win a brand-new tablet or similar digital technology along with brand-new reading books appropriate to the winning child's age and reading ability.  

 

How do I report my child's unplanned absence (e.g. illness)?

 

If your child is going to be absent from school, you must let the school know by 8:30am in one of the following two ways:

 

1) Telephone 01992 624099, leaving a voicemail where you state your child's name and the reason for their absence from school; or,

 

2) E-mail admin@hurstdrive.herts.sch.uk and state your child's full name and the reason for their absence from school.

 

You must repeat this process daily for the duration of your child's absence.

 

How do I report my child's planned absence (e.g. a medical appointment, a holiday)?

 

If you know your child is going to be absent from school; for example, they have a medical appointment, you must let the school know in one of the following three ways:

 

1) Speak to a member of staff at the school gates, stating your child's name, the date and time they will be absent, and share any evidence linked to the absence (e.g. a letter from the hospital);

 

2) Telephone 01992 624099, leaving a voicemail where you state your child's name, the date and time they will be absent, and explain how you will share any evidence linked to the absence (e.g. by bringing the appointment letter to school when the child is collected from (or returned to) school); or,

 

3) E-mail admin@hurstdrive.herts.sch.uk and state your child's full name, the date and time they will be absent, and attach any evidence (e.g. a scanned copy of an appointment letter).

 

We kindly ask parents/carers to avoid making appointments (e.g. a visit to the opticians, a visit to an embassy) during the school day, and where that is unavoidable, we ask that these appointments be made at the very start or the very end of the school day. 

 

Please note, we will only authorise absence for medical appointments which we know cannot be organised outside school hours (e.g. a hospital appointment).  

 

For planned absences that are not medical appointments, we will only authorise absences in exceptional circumstances. Examples of circumstances that are not exceptional are holidays being cheaper during term time, holidays that have already been paid for by someone else, or absences that coincide with important school events (e.g. start of term, end of term, statutory assessment tests etc.).

 

What will happen if I don't report my child's absence from school?

 

Where any child we expect to attend school does not attend, or stops attending, the school will follow the procedure below:

 

  • Day 1 – the Safeguarding Coordinator telephones, e-mails and/or texts a child’s parent/carer to seek a reason for the absence;
  • Day 2 – the Safeguarding Coordinator and/or Family Support Worker telephone the emergency contacts for a child to seek a reason for the absence, and, depending on the contact made, carry out a home visit to deliver a letter; and,
  • Day 3 – the Safeguarding Coordinator and/or Family Support Worker repeat the previous steps, and, if no contact is made with a parent/carer, the Safeguarding Coordinator may telephone the Police to carry out a welfare check.

 

Please note, the procedure for following up absence for vulnerable children (i.e. those known to Children’s Services) will differ – namely, contacting the child’s designated Social Worker on Day 1 and bringing forward the home visit and/or request for the police to carry out a welfare check, depending on the family’s circumstances.

 

What will happen if my child arrives late to school?

 

Children do not like arriving late to school - it makes them feel worried and it means they miss the start of lessons which, over time, can seriously damage their education.

 

Where a child is frequently late, the school will follow the procedure below:

 

  • On a monthly basis, the Safeguarding Coordinator uses the school system to identify pupils whose lateness amounts to at least 15 minutes across one or more late arrivals;
  • A letter is posted to the child’s parent/carer to detail how many minutes of lost learning their child has amounted in the previous month and the expectation that this must improve in the following month; and,
  • If in the following month, there is not a sufficient improvement, the Safeguarding Coordinator will organise a meeting with the child’s parent/carer, which may include inviting the child’s Class Teacher and/or the Headteacher to address whatever is causing the lateness.

 

Please note, a child arriving after the registers close counts as an unauthorised absence which may lead to the local authority issuing a fixed penalty notice.  

 

What will happen if my child's absence is unauthorised?

 

If we unauthorise an absence, the child's parent/s and/or carer/s will receive a formal warning letter, and, depending on the child's attendance at that point, the local authority may award a fixed penalty notice if the following circumstances apply:

 

  • The child's absence has been unauthorised by the school;
  • The child has had 15 half days (or 7 and a half full days) unauthorised absence in the current and/or previous term;
  • The school has sent a formal warning letter;
  • The school or Local Authority Attendance Officer believe issuing a fixed penalty notice could reduce further school absence;
  • Issuing a fixed penalty notice will not conflict with any other legal action being taken;
  • No more than two separate fixed penalty notices have been issued to a parent within any 12-month period; and,
  • The fixed penalty notice is issued for children of compulsory school age.

 

Regarding the fixed penalty notice, the amount payable is £60 per parent if paid within 21 days or £120 per parent if paid after 21 days but within 28 days of receipt of the notice. 

 

If the notice remains unpaid after the expiry of the payment period and the Local Authority has not withdrawn the notice, the Local Authority will prosecute for the offence under section 444 of the Education Act 1996. All decisions to prosecute (or not) rest with the Local Authority.

 

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