Ms Catherine Eastham is the schools lead Behaviour and Attendance professional.
Highlands Primary School expects all children to have 100% attendance and punctuality.
Regular attendance at school dramatically improves the life chances of children and young people and plays a vital role in raising educational attainment and tackling under achievement.
At Highlands we aim:
- to ensure that all children strive to achieve 100% attendance
- to ensure that children arrive at school on time
- to demonstrate our commitment to the citywide attendance strategy by securing high levels of attendance and punctuality
It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children attend school regularly and to let the school know immediately if their child cannot attend school and the reason for such absence. It is also the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children arrive at school on time. On entry to Highlands Primary School the parents, child and Headteacher enter into a Home School Agreement. A key element of this contract is the partnership between the home and the school, and the importance of securing regular attendance and good punctuality.
Only the school can authorise absences.
An ‘unauthorised absence’ is when your child is absent from school without good reason. Highlands Primary School will not normally authorise absence for the following reasons: shopping during school hours; holidays during term time; day trips; birthdays; looking after brothers and sisters; illness of brothers and sisters
It is very important that children get into the habit of arriving at school on time every day as this sets the pattern for the rest of their school life.
If your child arrives late before the close of the register they will receive a late mark – ‘L’. If they arrive more than 30 minutes late for a session, after the close of register, they will be marked as an unauthorised absence – ‘U’.
Regular lateness not only seriously disrupts the learning of the child arriving late but also interrupts the learning of the class they are arriving late to.
Leave of Absence for Holidays in Term Time
The Governors of Highlands Primary School have endorsed the Local Authority’s advice on attendance and will not approve leave of absence for holidays in term time unless there areexceptional circumstances. Unapproved absence for this reason will be classed as unauthorised. Each case is dealt with individually and if parents feel their reasons are exceptional circumstances, they will be asked to explain their reasons in full and provide supporting evidence to support their case.
The Governing Body of Highlands Primary school has set the following “exceptional circumstances” criteria:
- Service Personnel and other employees (e.g. Farmers) who are prevented from taking holidays outside term-time
- Acute crisis, emergency or significant event within the family, where the family needs to spend time together to support each other (e.g. bereavement, terminal illness / life limiting illness of close family member)
- Court order/formal agreement where parents have separated
Medical and dental appointments should, whenever possible, be arranged for after school or during school holidays. If this is unavoidable please inform the school as early as possible. Children must attend school before and after the appointment time.
Working with Partner Agencies
Poor attendance and punctuality arises due to a variety of issues. We work closely with a broad range of partner agencies to resolve issues and secure good attendance and punctuality, as necessitated by each individual circumstance. In our drive to promote good attendance and punctuality we work closely with the Local Authority.
Frequently asked questions:
What should you do if my child is absent?
Contact the school as soon as possible to tell them why your child is absent, and when you expect them to return.
What will happen if I do not inform school of my child’s absence?
You can expect to be telephoned by the school staff to ask why your child is absent or be visited by the school Attendance Officer.
What will happen if my child’s attendance or punctuality is identified as a concern?
If we are concerned about your child’s attendance or punctuality we will, in the first instance, contact you to explain our concerns, offer support if needed and request that your child’s attendance and/or punctuality improve.
If your child’s attendance does not then improve you may expect:
- to be contacted by one of our partner agencies
- to be required to attend an Attendance Panel and enter into a Parenting Contract or Parenting Order
- to be issued with a Warning
- to be issued with a Penalty Notice
- to be prosecuted under the Education Act 1996 and be summons to a Court Appearance.