Infant & Nursery School
This policy was adopted/updated: December 2016
This policy will be reviewed: As required or Sept 2017
Statutory policy: No
Making A Difference
Children’s attendance at school is, as you know, extremely important. We do realise that there are occasions when there are exceptional circumstances when a Parent/Carer will need to make a request to school for their child to be absent during term-time.
There is an expectation that everyone – parents/carers, staff, pupils, governors and outside agencies - will work together to promote excellent attendance.
It is important for your child’s education, lifelong learning and life skills that they attend school regularly (unless they are ill) and arrive at school on time.
We realise that there are rare occasions other than illness when there might be a particular problem that causes your child to be absent. Please let us know and we shall try to deal with it sympathetically.
As a school we aim to:
- Maintain an attendance rate of a minimum of 95% or the % identified by Ofsted to be at least ‘Good’
- 1 session equals an AM or PM session i.e. 2 sessions are a whole day
- Maintain parents’ and pupils’ awareness of the importance of regular attendance.
- Actively discourage absence during term time, as not only does it affect the learning of the child who is away but it impacts on the class when children are taking additional teacher time to catch up.
Why should your child be at school?
- Apart from developing skills, knowledge and friendships in a rich learning environment, there is an expectation from the school that when children become part of our school community, they will attend regularly.
- From the term after a child is five years old, there is a statutory requirement for him/her to receive full-time education.
At the end of each term, each child will be issued with an attendance certificate with their personal attendance percentage. Parents will also receive a traffic light, colour coded letter outlining all attendance. Where attendance is less than 90%, this will be discussed with the Education Welfare Officer.
With both of the above sections, there may be exceptional circumstances which may apply. Please speak to the Headteacher if you are unsure or in any doubt.
When should your child be at school?
- Every day during school term time, except for staff training days, illness or authorised absence
How do we know that your child is at school?
- At the beginning of every morning and afternoon session, from Nursery through to Year 2, a staff member takes the class register. This legal document is examined every day by the office staff and any absences are noted, with ‘pattern’ and longer absences being followed up.
What happens when your child is late?
- Lateness causes embarrassment for the child, upset for the class and additional workload in the office!
- For main school, the start of the school day is 9.00am and for morning nursery, 8:45am with afternoon nursery starting at 12.15pm. After these periods, any child arriving into class will be sent up to the school office where they will be marked in as ‘late’. Parents/carers of children who arrive late will be issued with a ‘red ticket’. All late arriving children have their names entered on to a monitoring spreadsheet. This data is then used to monitor lateness, to highlight any patterns and is recorded on the child’s annual school report.
- For nursery children the door will be locked at 8:55am and 12.25pm. Latecomers will not be admitted to the nursery door. Parents/carers will have to take their child to the school office, register their child and a member of school staff will take their child through to the nursery. As with the main school red tickets will be issued to late-arriving nursery children.
- For those children who are frequently late, i.e. 10% or more, a member of staff will have a discussion with the parents/carers to see if there are positive measures, which can be taken to ensure that the child arrives on time. Persistent cases will be brought to the Headteacher’s attention, who will contact the parents/carers to see how the problem can be solved.
- Parents of children who arrive late 10% or more of the time will be sent a red letter at the end each half term.
- At this time a letter will also be issued detailing the numbers of late days. If, after support, the problem continues, the matter will be brought to the attention of the Educational Welfare Officer, who will follow up the matter by contacting the parents/carers.
When should your child be absent from school?
- If your child is unwell, if your child has not had a clear 48 hour gap from the last bout of sickness or diarrhoea or if your child has been granted written authorised leave from school.
How do we know that your child is not at school?
- This will be reflected in the register, which will show that for a particular period of the day or the whole day, that a pupil is absent
- If the absence is authorised, the office staff and teachers will be aware and will code the absence as such.
- Parents/Carers should contact the school on the first day of illness and subsequently, to let the office staff know that their child will not be at school
- All absence must be explained in writing even if you have previously phoned the school office.
Requests for Holiday during term time
- While family holidays are enriching experiences, the school year is designed to give families the opportunity for these breaks without having to disrupt their children's education. It is for schools to consider the specific details and relevant context behind each request. As set out in the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 amended in 2013 - headteachers continue to have the power to authorise leave of absence, but only in exceptional circumstances.
- If leave of absence is granted and is deemed as ‘exceptional circumstances’ this absence should be marked as authorised.
- All authorised absence agreed for ‘exceptional circumstances’ during term-time will be monitored to ensure the pupil returns by the agreed date otherwise the school will inform the Local Authority.
Authorised absence during school term-time
- Any medical appointments, providing that a letter stating the details has been received
- Illness, providing that a letter has been received by the school stating the reasons why your child was absent during term-time
- Exams, e.g. ballet, instrument (for the relevant session of the day, e.g. am/pm)
- Citizenship or passport renewal visits to the embassy
Authorised absence for Religious Observation
- Absence of up to 1 day will be authorised when it is due to religious observation. The day must be exclusively set apart for religious observation by the religious body to which the parents belong.
Unauthorised absence during term time
- A family holiday.
- Requests for film or modelling work via agencies.
- A child’s birthday, siblings’ birthday or a family birthday.
- Illness/medical appointments, without a follow-up letter.
- Exams, without first seeking written permission.
Unauthorised absence Actions
- If a child is absent for 5 consecutive days with no information/contact from the family/carers to school, the school will phone the SPA Team.
- If a family/carers says child has gone abroad the EWO will be contacted
- 10% absence (19 days or 36 sessions per academic year) – this is the statutory threshold for intervention and a referral will be made to the Education Welfare Services.
Students changing school or moving out of the area
- A letter from the parent is required informing the school of the leave date, new school details and a forwarding address. If this is not provided the child will be reported to the Missing from Education Department.
Teachers can not be expected to provide appropriately challenging work in unsupervised situation when a child is absent.
Collecting your child from school.
- The school day ends for pupils at 3.15pm; for Nursery this is either 11.45am or 3.15pm.
- Please be prompt when collecting your child, as it can be distressing and worrying for them if they are not collected on time.
- We appreciate that on occasions you may be delayed beyond your control and a phone call to the office is much appreciated as we can then inform your child.
- Persistent late collections will be monitored and a meeting requested to discuss the matter.
Useful Contact Details
Heidi Johnson-Paul, Headteacher
Sarah Wilkey, Safeguarding and Admissions Officer
Emma Pitt, Finance Officer
0208 977 3971
Parent Governor Contact:
Education Welfare Officer:
Duty Officer 0208 8316234 Mob:07920414672
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