Attendance and the Law
By law, all children of compulsory school age (between 5 and 16) must get a suitable full time education. As a parent, you have a legal responsibility and are required by Law under the Education Act 1996 for making sure this happens and if you fail to ensure a child of compulsory school age, who is registered at a school, attends regularly, legal action may be taken by the Local Authority, including penalty notices and prosecution in court. Parents/carers can be fined up to £2,500 or face imprisonment for failing to ensure their child attends school regularly. Here at Ribbleton Avenue Methodist Junior School we work in partnership with you to ensure this does not happen. Effective partnership between school and home are essential to ensuring good attendance and punctuality.
Attendance & Punctuality Information
Ribbleton Avenue Methodist Junior School are committed to enabling all our children to achieve and sustain outstanding attendance and punctuality. We recognise that attending school regularly has a positive impact on learning, progress and therefore the best life chances for children. We expect all our pupils to maintain a minimum attendance level of 97%
School keeps a register of attendance for every child. This is a legal document and record and classifies every half day attendance and/or absence. Absences are classed as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. For this reason, the school will ask parents/carers for the reason for each absence. There is a designated Attendance Manager who will monitor each child’s attendance and punctuality to ensure they attend regularly in school.
Authorised Absences – Under the provisions of the Education Act 1993 only the school and not the parents can authorise the absence.
A pupil may be deemed to have an AUTHORISED absence when he/she does not attend school. For example:-
Unauthorised Absences – Unauthorised Absences are absences that do not fit the description of the authorised absences given above whether or not explained and all absences not explained. They would include:-
Parent are notified by text to inform them when their child 1st falls below school’s target of 97%. This attendance is then monitored on a 4wkly cycle until their child rises above 97%. 4wkly texts/letters will be issued to parents during their child’s monitoring periods. School uses several different monitoring systems, e.g texts home, Parent meetings, Attendance Agreements and PAST referrals
A child is deemed late if he/she is not present at the time the registers close. School starts at 8.50am. Being late has an impact on both behaviour and learning which also affects other learners in their class.
Punctuality is an essential life skill.
School will advise parents when their child falls below our target of 97% and/or their punctuality starts to be an issue – this will be monitored every 4 weeks. Improvement and deterioration texts will be sent.
Parents are notified by text/letter when their child’s punctuality becomes an issue. School will then monitor on a 4 weekly cycle.
School Attendance Target
100% = Excellent attendance
98% = Very good attendance
96% = Good attendance
Parents MUST ring to inform school on the 1st day of absence and provide a valid reason. Any absence lasting more than 1 day, parents will need to update school regularly. If school do not receive notification of why a child is absent, a text and/or phone call will be made to ascertain why your child is absent. School reserve the right to conduct a home visit if and when required/needed from the 1st day of absence onwards.
Absences during Term time
Appointments – Medical/dental appointments need to be made outside school hours where possible. Evidence of each appointment will be requested.
Holidays/absence leave - Amendments have been made to the 2006 regulations in the ‘Education Regulations 2013’ and these came into force on 1st September 2013. The amendments remove any reference to family holiday leave as well as the threshold of ten school days. The amendments make clear that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Parents MUST discuss requests for leave with the Headteacher/Attendance staff BEFORE taking time off school and only then a form will need to be completed. Penalty notices/Warning letters will be issued to parents who take their children out of school during term time and also if they fail to send their child to school regularly.