In order to see children fulfil their potential at school this can best be achieved by avoiding unnecessary absence.
This information below from our attendance policy explains how and when children are required to attend school each day; acceptable and unacceptable reasons for absence and also provides information regarding leave of absence applications.
School start times
Children should be at school in good time for registration. The morning register will be called promptly at 8.55am and the afternoon register at 12.45pm (Reception) 1.00pm (KS 1), 1.15pm (KS 2)
A free breakfast club is available from 8am each morning
Lateness - what happens if a child is late?
Registration finishes 15 minutes after the start of a school session.
If a child arrives in that 15 minutes (by 9.10am in a morning) he/she will be marked late.
If a child arrives after the 15 minutes (after 9.10 am in a morning) he/she will be given an unauthorised absence for that session.
What to do if your child is going to be absent from school.
We would expect a parent to telephone the school on the first day of absence, before 9.30am preferably. We will contact parents by the school texting service if we do not receive an explanation. If the explanation is unsatisfactory, we will not authorise the absence, and this will be shown on the child’s end of year report.
Acceptable reasons for absence.
Emergency dental / medical appointment (routine appointments should be made for after school or during the holidays)
Day of religious observance
Except in the case of illness, permission should be obtained for children to miss school well in advance, giving full details. In cases of recurring absences through illness, a medical certificate may be requested.
Unacceptable reasons for absence.
The school will not authorise absence for day trips, visiting relatives, shopping, birthdays or looking after brothers or sisters or any other family members.
Contacting parents if a child is absent.
We will phone or text parents if we have not heard from them. This is because we believe it is our responsibility to ensure every child’s safety as well as their regular school attendance.
If we are concerned about aspects of a child’s attendance or punctuality, we will contact parents to discuss the best way forward.
Leave of absence for a supervised educational activity.
The Head Teacher can approve educational activities, such as a sporting or music event (and this approval is implicit where the school has been involved in making the arrangements). A request must be made in writing explaining the circumstances of the request. In considering the request, the school will consider:
1. The nature of the activity
2. The benefits to the child
3. The effect on the child’s general education
4. The amount of time requested
5. The timing of the activity
Leave of Absence for a family holiday.
In accordance with the new Government legislation the Head Teacher of the school may not grant leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. The Head Teacher will determine the number of days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted and the child’s current attendance record will always be taken into account.
Any application will be carefully considered. Staff will not provide pupils with work to take away with them or to ‘catch up’ on their return to school.
St Hild’s School will consider authorising holidays for:
service personnel and employees who are prevented from taking holidays during term time
when a family needs to spend time together to support each other during or after a crisis (i.e. the death of a close family member)
Requests for holidays for the following reason will not be authorised:
cheaper cost of holiday
availability of the desired accommodation
poor weather experienced in school holiday periods
overlap with beginning or end of term
The Head Teacher will respond to all requests for a leave of absence in writing giving the reasons for the decision. Holidays will NOT be authorised during periods of national tests, i.e. SATS
Parents can be given a penalty notice or prosecuted for periods of unauthorised holidays.
Exceptional Extended Leave of Absence.
With the exception of family holidays and employment, schools have a discretionary power to grant a pupil time off school if they believe there is extenuating or compassionate reasons that justify leave. All applications must be made in writing and in advance by the parents. The Head Teacher has the power to refuse the whole period requested by the parents, grant part of the period and refuse the remainder, or grant the whole of the period requested. Any leave of absence granted by the school is recorded as authorised.
At St Hild’s School all requests are treated on a case by case basis and will take into account:
The amount of time requested
The age of the pupil
The pupil’s general absence / attendance record
Proximity to SATs
Length of the proposed leave
Pupil’s ability to catch up the work
Pupil’s educational needs
General welfare of the pupil
Circumstances of the request
Purpose of the leave
Frequency of the activity
When the request was made
Where extended leave of absence is granted there will be an expectation that the pupil either attends an alternative school or undertakes school work set during this period.
The Head Teacher will respond to all requests for extended leave of absence in writing and give reasons for the decision. If the application is granted the Head Teacher will state the expected date of return and what action will be taken if the pupil fails to return when expected. Similarly, a letter refusing a request will explain the reasons for the refusal and what actions will be taken if the parents ignore the refusal and keep their child away.
Children who are reluctant go to School.
Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s class teacher immediately and openly discuss their worries if a child is reluctant to go to school.
Children can avoid school for a number of reasons – difficulties with school work, friendship problems, family difficulties. It is important that the reason for a child’s reluctance to attend school is identified in order that we can work together to tackle the problem.
In some cases, it may be helpful to discuss the circumstances of a child’s reluctance with our school Parent Support Advisor. The school may also make a referral to a Local Authority Officer who works with staff and families if difficulties with attendance arise.