Reviewed September 2015
Next Review September 2016
Responsible Person: Mrs S Nordstrom
It is extremely important for children that they regularly attend school. Children only get one chance at school and irregular attendance may affect the child’s chance of a successful future. If a child does not attend school regularly they may not be able to keep up with school work, they may miss out on the social side of school life and they will not form the good attendance patterns that will help them in the world of work. Employers want workers who are reliable.
Being on time is also vital. Arriving late at school can be very disruptive for the child, the teacher and the rest of the class.
Parents have a legal responsibility for ensuring that their child attends school on a regular basis.
Aims of the School Attendance Policy
New Silksworth Infant School seeks to ensure that all pupils in the school receive a full-time education which maximises the opportunities for each child to achieve their true potential.
The school endeavours to provide a warm, welcoming and caring environment in which every member of the school community feels valued and secure.
All members of the school community will work closely with pupils and their families to ensure that each pupil attends school regularly and punctually.
The school will put into place a rewards and incentive scheme to encourage good attendance and punctuality.
The school will make every effort to communicate effectively with pupils, parents and appropriate agencies to provide support, advice and information to enable these aims to be met
ü To improve the overall attendance of pupils at the school
ü To make attendance and punctuality a priority for all members of the school community including parents and governors
ü To set out agreed roles and responsibilities to ensure consistency in approach
ü To provide support, advice and guidance to parents and pupils
ü To ensure systematic collection and analysis of attendance related data
ü To further develop positive and consistent communication between home and school
ü To continue to implement a system of incentives and rewards
ü To promote effective partnerships with the Inclusion Team, BEST Team and other relevant agencies
ü To ensure that the individual needs of the pupil are addressed when planning reintegration following a prolonged period of absence
To improve overall attendance
- Ensure consistent implementation of this policy by making all members of the school community aware of its requirements
- Establish and maintain a high profile for attendance and punctuality
- Relate attendance issues directly to the school’s values, ethos and curriculum
- Monitor progress in attendance through measurable outcomes
To make attendance a priority for all
- Provide information to all members of the school community through staff handbook/ school prospectus/ termly and annual governors reports/ newsletters/display materials etc
- Continue to implement rewards and incentives system including Every School Day Counts material
- To ensure the attendance of vulnerable pupils including those who are Looked-After, subject to Child Protection plans or Child in Need.
To set out agreed roles and responsibilities
- Maintain clear procedures for registration for Nursery and School
- Make phone contact by designated staff on first day of absence if no message received
- Ensure that late registration procedures are consistently and rigorously followed
- Ensure that appropriate staff know their roles and responsibilities
- Have clear procedures as to referral to Attendance Team
- Review attendance regularly particularly for those children who are in vulnerable groups.
- Administration staff must keep the Headteacher and Designated Person informed of pupils who have attendance problems especially those in vulnerable groups and the Designated Teacher for Looked-After children must be informed if a LAC pupil has attendance problems.
To provide support and advice
- Highlight positives of regular attendance wherever and whenever possible
- Involve parents at an early stage if attendance is a concern
- Ensure accurate and up to date contact information
To develop systematic data collection and analysis
- Be consistent in collection of data
- Be consistent with authorised /unauthorised absence recording
- Ensure that appropriate data information is provided to governors, school staff, Inclusion team
To develop appropriate communication with parents
- Continue to use first day contact
- Promote expectation of absence letters / phone calls from parents
- Provide information in a user friendly way.
- Encourage parents to come into school
To continue to use rewards and incentives
- Ensure there is finance available for a system of rewards
- Actively promote attendance and associated reward and effective sanctions
- Ensure fair and consistent implementation
- Involve pupils in system evaluation
To promote partnerships with Attendance Team and other agencies
- Designate staff to liaise with partners and other agencies
- Carry out enquiries prior to referral to Inclusion team
- Gather and record relevant information to assist Attendance team
- Hold regular review meetings with key staff and Attendance team
To recognise the needs of an individual pupil returning after prolonged absenc
Ensure sensitivity to the individual needs and circumstances of returningpupils
- Inform all staff in the reintegration process
- Involve parents at all times
- Consider peer support
- Agree timescale for reintegration
- Include Inclusion team and parents in reintegration plan
To put into place procedures when attendance is an issue
- When attendance becomes an issue concerns letters must be sent to the parent/carer. Attendance will be monitored between 95% - 90%. Below 90%, unless there are specific medical issues the attendance procedure stages may be invoked as set out in the Attendance Information File.
- Letters will be sent and meetings arranged within the school between the parent / carer, Headteacher and Attendance Governor. If there is still no improvement then the matter will be referred to the Attendance team who will move towards the legal process.
Children Missing from Education
It is a statutory requirement that all children of school age are registered at and attend a school. The registration process ensures that a school knows which children they will expect to be admitted at the beginning of each school year. However, there are times when a child does not turn up to be admitted or is absent and does not attend a school for a prolonged period without the school being notified as to the reason for the absence.
Procedures to follow
If a child does not arrive at the school to be admitted when expected or becomes absent for a prolonged period without the school being notified as to the reason, there is a possibility that the child may be at risk. It is important therefore that action is taken as soon as possible.
The school should always try to make contact using the contact information obtained at the registration process. If it is impossible to make contact, the Attendance Team should be informed. Attempts will then be made to contact the family at their known address.
If the family appear to be no longer living at their address, the information will be passed to the appropriate designated officer for children missing from education. They will make enquiries first across the Local Authority and then to other Local Authorities to see if the family has sought admittance at another school.
It is very important that the reason for any absence is sought as soon as possible to avoid a child going missing and therefore being at risk of possible harm. This is the reason for ‘first day calling’.
Any member of staff who has any reason to be concerned that a child may have gone missing must report their concern immediately to the Head teacher so that enquiries can be made as quickly as possible.
It is an important part of the safeguarding process that staff act quickly if there are any concerns at all about a child’s absence or non-attendance at school.
If the child is subject to a Child Protection Plan or is a Child in Need Children’s Services Social Care should be informed.
Procedures for Arrivals and Departures to School
It is the responsibility of staff to ensure that an accurate record is kept of all children in school and that any arrival or departure to and from the premises is recorded in a separate register held in the office, which all parents must sign when children are taken from the premises earlier than the usual sessions. Similarly, when a child arrives late, parents must sign the record held in the office. The register will be kept in an accessible location in the office at all times.
This process will be supplemented by regular head counts during each session.
Records of daily registers should be kept by the school for recommended years by the Local Authority.
A member of staff will be on duty on the external door when the bell rings. Any information that needs to be shared should be given to office staff who will ensure that the message reaches the appropriate member of staff.
Teaching staff will be available in classrooms to greet the children to ensure a good start to the day. On arrival, a member of staff will immediately record the child’s attendance in the daily register and send the registers to the office by 9.10am. Any children arriving after the external door has closed MUST come into school via the front reception door and register with the office staff.
Any children not accounted for by 9.30am; office staff will endeavour to contact parents to ensure that the child is ill and unable to attend and is not absent for any unauthorised reason.
If a child is to be collected by someone other than the parent/carer, this must be indicated to a member of staff before collection. The adult nominated to collect a child must be one of these named by the parent. Only adults – aged 16 years and over – and with suitable identification, i.e. password or recorded name, will be authorised to collect children. If the child is being collected before the end of the school day, the adult must go to the main office. The adult will sign to acknowledge that a child has been collected.
No child will be allowed to go home unaccompanied. Having carried out a risk assessment it is deemed unsafe for the pupils of this school to walk to and from home on their own. Parents are informed of this.
All children must be collected from clubs by an adult, as it is dark and the roads dangerous.
No adult, other than the named, will be allowed to leave the school with a child. In the event that someone else should arrive without prior knowledge, the school will telephone the parent/carer immediately and await their advice.
If the parent/carer or alternative nominated adult is going to be late to collect their child, staff must be informed of this on arrival. If the designated adult is late in picking up their child without prior warning, the provisions of the Uncollected Children Policy will be activated.
Reception parents are invited to come into school at 3.15pm to see what their children have been doing during the day and have a talk to the teacher if they so wish.
All staff will accompany Year 1 and Year 2 children to the yard. All children not collected within 5 minutes are to be brought into school where it is safe and warm by the teacher or member of staff on gate duty.
Risk assessments have been carried out regarding the traffic in the back lane and the safety of children leaving the premises. These assessments have informed this policy.
To be read in conjunction with ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children in Education’ . New Silksworth Infant School Policies and Guidance for Safeguarding can be viewed on the school website and hard copies are available in school.