Absence, Attendance and Punctuality
For our children to achieve the greatest benefit from their education, it is vital that they attend school every day and on time. Good attendance is the key to successful education. Any absence will affect your child’s education and become a barrier to their learning as well as the routines of their class and that of their peers. Ensuring your child’s attendance at school is your legal responsibility and permitting absence from school without a good reason creates an offence in law which could lead to prosecution in the form of a Penalty Notice or a criminal record.
Mrs Sam Wakefield, Attendance Officer, works with children and their families to ensure that school attendance levels are good. If pupils are not in school they cannot learn – persistent and unexplained absence will result in a direct communication with home.
Getting to school on time
If your child is late, they are missing out on valuable school time. As well as the pupil registration period which begins as soon as the children enter their classroom, other important school practices also occur after this, such as intervention programmes, homework discussion and marking reviews. Pupils arriving late also disrupt the teaching which has already begun, as well as the learning of the whole class, which is not fair on those children who arrive on time.
While it is appreciated that roadworks and bad weather can affect journey times, it is parent’s responsibility to take this into account when leaving for school in the morning. The gates are open from 8:30 am and the classroom doors open at 8:40 am, to enable your child to be ready in their classroom when the registers are taken at 9 am prompt.
8.30am – The gate opens
8.40am – All classroom doors open
9.00am – The gate closes – registers taken
Children will receive a late mark when the child arrives at school between 9.00am and 9.30am. Any lateness after 9.30am is marked as late after registration is closed which is an unauthorised absence.
All parents must notify the school of their child’s absence before 9am. To report your child absent please email [email protected] in the first instance or alternatively call the school office on 01202 395138 (please do not press Option 1 as there is no one checking this line at present) leaving your child’s name, their class, along with the reason for absence (please give us a full reason other than ‘unwell’). Parents must call in EVERYDAY that their child is absent.
If a child is absent and we do not have a reason, it is a safeguarding concern. Therefore, a telephone call will be made to parents to determine a reason for the absence. If there is no reply then a safe and well visit could be carried out at the family address.
It is not usually necessary for a child to be absent from school for more than a couple of days due to illness. If your child has been prescribed a course of antibiotics by the doctor, please come to the school office to complete a consent slip and the first aider will be able to administer it for you. Antibiotics that need to be given 3 times per day should be spaced out so that they are taken when at home. However, school can give antibiotics that need to be taken 4 times a day.
In the event of an accident, injury or illness while the child is at school, the appropriate procedures will be followed and the parent/carer informed. The parents/carers may be requested to collect the child from the Academy in these circumstances. In the event of a serious accident or injury sustained by the child outside of school time, to ensure their safety, we may require that the parent/carer keep the child at home for a reasonable period before returning to school. If appropriate a risk assessment will be completed.
Parents are to make medical and dental appointments for their children before or after school or during the school holidays whenever possible. If this is not possible, then authorisation will be given where confirmation of the appointment is received at the School Office (by way of an appointment letter). Children are expected to attend school prior to the appointment and return to school following the appointment whenever possible.
An authorised medical absence can only be for a maximum of half a day, if you keep your child away for a whole day, this will be unauthorised, unless it is deemed that the distance of the medical appointment and timing of the appointment means that the child could not attend school.
Holidays during term-time
In light of government legislation, King’s Park Academy as a rule is unable to support family holidays in school time. In exceptional circumstances the Academy may be able to grant permission. Parents are strongly requested to avoid taking holidays in term time. If this is absolutely unavoidable, an ‘Absence Request Form’ must be completed. The completed form should be received at least a week before the period for which you are seeking authorisation. The completed form setting out your reasons must be returned to the front office.
Taking holidays in term time will affect your child’s schooling as much as any other absence and we expect parents to help us by not taking children out during school time. Below is an illustration of how absence adversely affects learning:
Attendance at school is a legal requirement and as a parent/carer it is your duty to ensure regular attendance at school for your child/ren. As an Academy, we work hard to support parents/carers but have a duty to report matters of poor school attendance to the Local Authority – Attendance and Inclusion Officer at regular intervals.
A Penalty Notice involves a fine of £60 per parent, per child if paid within 21 days. This will rise to £120 per parent, per child if paid within 28 days. Should a parent/carer fail to pay the full amount of the fine within the specific time, he/she will be liable to prosecution in a Magistrates’ Court. If convicted, a fine of up to £2,500 and/or a sentence of up to three months in prison may be imposed.
Click on the link to see further information on Penalty Notices (http://www.kingspark-academy.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/BCP-School-attendance-code-of-conduct-April-2019.pdf)
If you have any questions about the punctuality of your children, or any other attendance issues, please do not hesitate to contact our Attendance Officer, Mrs Wakefield at school.