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Attendance and Holidays

Guide us O God to be the best we can be; in every thought, in every word and every deed

The white paper Opportunity for all: strong schools with great teachers for your child sets an expectation that all state-funded mainstream schools will deliver a minimum length of school week of 32.5 hours as soon as they can, and from September 2023 at the latest.


The 32.5 hour minimum expectation includes the time in each day from the official start of the school day (i.e. morning registration) to the official end to the compulsory school day (i.e. official home time). The 32.5 hour minimum includes breaks and lunch times as well as teaching time and any extra-curricular activities that all pupils are expected to attend. It does not include optional before or after school provision.

Our school day is compliant with this request and is as follows:

♦ 8:40-8:50am arrival and morning tasks

♦ 8:50am compulsory start time and registration

♦ There is a 15 minute mid morning break held separately for infants and juniors.

♦ 12:00-1pm Lunch for all children

♦ 3:20pm All KS1 children finish

♦ 3:30pm All KS2 children finish

♦ (KS2 children with siblings in KS1 and Early Years can go home together at 3:20pm)

Total hours of attendance at our school are:

KS1 - 32hrs and 30 minutes a week

KS2 - 33hrs and 20 minutes a week

The importance of good attendance at school.

We expect all our children to achieve an attendance average of 97% across the school year; it is critical for their personal, social and academic development. https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/news-and-blogs/the-importance-of-attendance/

Our figure for whole school attendance for the academic year 2022-2023 was 96%. 1% of our absences were unauthorised, the other 3% were authorised reasons for absence. Please accept our thanks at school for working so well with us to take holidays outside of term time, this continues to be a target for us but we are delighted with the improvements.

We do appreciate that children become ill and need time off school but here is some guidance which may help you to decide if your child is well enough to attend:

Letter from Professor Chris Whitty October 2023

We are aware that the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused some parents to feel less confident with assessing whether their child is well enough to be in school so we have laid out some information which we hope you will find helpful.

There is wide agreement among health professionals and educational professionals that school attendance is vital to the life chances of children and young people. Being in school improves health, wellbeing and socialisation throughout the life course. The greatest benefits come from children and young people attending school regularly.

It is usually appropriate for parents and carers to send their children to school with mild respiratory illnesses. This would include general cold symptoms: a minor cough, runny nose or sore throat. However, children should not be sent to school if they have a temperature of 38°C or above. We would encourage you to share the NHS ‘Is my child too ill for school?’ guidance with parents and carers in your schools and communities which has further information.

In addition to respiratory illnesses, we are aware that more children may be absent from school due to symptoms of anxiety than before the pandemic. Worry and mild or moderate anxiety, whilst sometimes difficult emotions, can be a normal part of growing up for many children and young people. Being in school can often help alleviate the underlying issues. A prolonged period of absence is likely to heighten a child’s anxiety about attending in the future, rather than reduce it.

The DfE has published useful guidance on mental health issues affecting a pupil’s attendance and those who are experiencing persistent symptoms can be encouraged to access additional support.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer, England

Pat Cullen, General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair, Royal College of General Practitioners

Dr Camilla Kingdon, President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

William Roberts, Chief Executive, Royal Society for Public Health

Dr Lade Smith, President, Royal College of Psychiatrists

 

 

Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school.

 

 

The government expects:

Schools and local authorities to:

♦  Promote good attendance and reduce absence, including persistent absence;
♦  Ensure every pupil has access to full-time education to which they are entitled;
and,
♦  act early to address patterns of absence.

Parents to perform their legal duty by ensuring their children of compulsory school age who are registered at school attend regularly.

All pupils to be punctual to their lessons.

If your child is unable to attend school, you need to contact the school office by the latest 8:55am, either by telephone (not text), email or letter to inform them. The school may then authorise this absence. If you don't do so, the school may contact you or one of your emergency contacts to check on the attendance.

If your child is missing school and you fail to contact us with a reason, the absences will be unauthorised and will carry the risk of a penalty notice or prosecution.

Authorised Absence

The following may be authorised by the school:

♦  Genuine illness of pupil

♦  Leave in term time (you should ask permission first, by law, the school can only authorise in exceptional circumstances)

♦  Short term emergency

♦  Certain days for religious observation

♦  Bereavement

♦  Dentist or doctors' appointment (try to make appointments outside school time and include, where possible, the medical appointment notification)

♦  Hospital treatment

If possible, notify the school of any issues that may affect your child's attendance before the absence occurs.

Unauthorised Absence

Unacceptable reasons for absence include:

♦  Shopping

♦  Holidays in term time which are not authorised by your child's school

♦  Hair cut

♦  Truancy

♦  Airport visits

♦  Birthday treats

♦  Days out / trips

♦  Looking after brothers and sisters at home

♦  Non-urgent medical or dental appointments

♦  Oversleeping

♦  Illness of parent/carer

♦  Attending a siblings appointment

♦  Please note that the decision to authorise absences rests with schools and not parents.

To notify us of a planned absence please complete the absence form below and send to the school office prior to the absence.

Absence Form

Holidays must not be taken during school time.  Leave during term time will only be considered under 'special' or 'exceptional' circumstances. Please complete the holiday request form and return to school for consideration before booking and well in advance of the proposed leave.

Government Guidance on School Attendance & Absence