Absence and Attendance
We aim to partner with children, teachers, parents and other agencies to raise achievement. The key part of our role is to improve the children’s levels of achievement through continued regular attendance and excellent punctuality.
We actively encourage dialogue between ourselves and all parents who may have concerns about any issue mentioned in this document. We aim to do our best to assist anyone with attendance and punctuality issues.
Should you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to book an appointment with Miss McDonagh.
Attending school regularly and on time is paramount for your child/children. Continuous lateness means missing vital school time. You are responsible for your child’s/children’s punctuality.
School starts at 8.50 am. The school gates are opened at 8:45 am. It is excellent practice for your child to arrive at the playground between 8.45 am and 8:55 am.
The school day finishes at 3.15 pm, so parents should arrive by 3:10 pm.
Infant’s/KS1 lunch starts at 12.00pm and ends at 1:00 pm. This is when KS1 registration takes place for the afternoon session.
Junior’s/KS2 lunch starts at 12.15 pm and ends at 1:15 pm. This is when KS2 registration for the afternoon session takes place.
As a school, we expect all children to arrive and be collected on time.
Every child’s punctuality is very closely monitored. Repeated/consistent lateness after closing the register will be marked as an unauthorised absence. If your child/children exceed 10 unauthorised absences, a referral will be made to our Attendance Improvement Officer (AIO). Once referred, cases become legal matters and could lead to a fine of £60.00. If lateness still persists, the fine could increase to £120.00. In severe cases, the matter can be referred to the magistrate's court under section 444 (1) of the 1996 Education Act, which can lead to a heavy fine and a criminal record.
In addition to this, many secondary schools are looking more deeply into pupils’ records, including their punctuality and attendance.
As mentioned, should you want to discuss any matters around punctuality, please speak to Miss McDonagh.
Holidays in Term Time
In line with Hertfordshire County, this school has a zero-tolerance stance on holidays during term time.
School term dates are set in accordance with TLT policy; if you are unsure of school term dates, please check the calendar or ask at the office. While we appreciate that airfares may be more expensive during school holidays, invariably, holiday requests will be turned down unless there is an extreme necessity for time off or travel. In these cases, an Emergency Term Time Absence Form and supporting evidence must be completed and handed in. The final decision to authorise any emergency time off rests with the Headteacher.
If you decide to take your child/children on holiday during term time after permission is refused, it will be marked on the register as an unauthorised holiday. There is a possibility that a referral may be made to Attendance Improvement Officer (AIO); once referred, cases become a legal matter and could ultimately lead to a fine of £60.00 - £120.00 or, in more extreme cases, court action.
Please do not take your child’s education for granted. You must plan your holidays within the allotted periods.
Before you decide to go, think carefully!
Taking your child out of school during term time without authorisation is illegal, and you could face a fine of up to £2,500 per child.
Children who miss school may fall behind with their schoolwork, and some never catch up.
Should your child be absent from school, all parents/carers are expected to contact the school via phone or email. Please be aware that every day of absence is monitored, and you will receive a text from the school and may receive a call from me. If your child is absent for two days or more, there is an increased chance that I will call you to gather relevant information and check their well-being. If your child/children cannot attend school, you must contact the school as soon as possible. We encourage you to book medical appointments out of school time, but we know this is impossible often. If you have to book an appointment during school times, try to book it so your child can come in for morning registration and return before afternoon registration. The school should be informed of appointments in advance. It is very good practice to provide medical evidence for any absence due to illness.
If you know your child will miss school through illness, medical appointments etc., you should telephone the school every day of your child’s absence. The office operates a ‘First Day Response’ system, which entails a phone call after 9.15 am to any parent we have not received a message from. But we would appreciate a call as this does save the office valuable time in the morning.
Standard letters regarding attendance and punctuality issues are sent out regularly.
It is good practice to send out an initial standard letter as a baseline for targeting any absences which cause concern, i.e. drop below a certain threshold. This ensures that no cases ‘slip through the net’ and all parents are kept duly informed of their child/children’s attendance percentage. Regarding safeguarding, attainment, and attendance, the DfE Guidelines advise that it is good practice to challenge or seek additional information when there are high absences to provide appropriate support to pupils, particularly for a long-term illness.
Please see the Attendance policy for full details, which can be downloaded below.