Report a child’s absence

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by 8.30am on day 1 and every subsequent day until child returns to school.

Attendance Matters

Why is good school attendance so important? 
At Whitehill Community Academy we are working closely in partnership with parents/carers to improve our attendance levels so that each child is given the opportunity to achieve their full potential. By law, all children of compulsory school age must receive a suitable full-time education. Once your child is registered at school, you are legally responsible for making sure that they attend regularly. If your child fails to do so, you risk getting a penalty notice or being prosecuted. Good attendance is a skill for life and attendance has an impact on a child’s whole school experience. As well as affecting your child’s academic potential, poor or irregular attendance can have an impact on your child’s friendships, self-esteem and confidence.

Good attendance is important because pupils: 
– Get on better with learning and other children
– Cope better with school routines, work and friendships
– Find learning easier because they do not miss out
– Are more successful moving between primary school, secondary school, higher education and employment or training
– Are known to be safe and well by us.

Research shows a direct link between high attendance and doing well at school. All children have the right to an education. We encourage and expect 100% attendance for all pupils. We check that pupils join video lessons and/or complete tasks during any remote learning.

We will:
– Tell pupils and parents the importance of being at school
– Check that pupils are at school every day
– Follow up and check the absence of persistent non-attenders
– Aim for an attendance rate of at least 97%; pupils who are under school age, in Nursery or Reception, are treated in the same way as all other children.

– By law, must ensure that their child attends school
– Should arrange dental and doctor’s appointments out of school hours or during school holidays, whenever possible
– Make sure that their child arrives on time at 8.30am, or if they arrive after 8:45am, sign-in at the school office
– Should contact the school on the first day their child is away from school.

Pupils should arrive and be collected from school on time:
– Registration is at 8:30am for all children from Reception to Year 6
– Late arrival can cause children to feel anxious or upset
– We take the view there are no late children, only late parents
– We contact parents of pupils who have patterns of lateness to talk about how to arrive and/or be collected on time.

Holiday requests will no longer be authorised for your child. Any holidays taken during term time will be recorded as unauthorised. Any child taking 5 days or more unauthorised absence will be liable to a penalty notice and fine for taking their children out of school. The fine is £60 to £120 per parent, per child.

The Education Hub

Back to school week – Everything you need to know about school attendance

Face-to-face education is important in helping pupils to fulfil their potential.

During school time we believe pupils should be in class with their teachers and peers and enjoying all the benefits that brings.

Parents or carers of a child have a legal responsibility to ensure their child receives a suitable education. This is usually achieved through regular attendance at school.

Why is regular attendance so important?
Being in school every day that it is open, is important to your child’s achievement, wellbeing, and their wider development.

With millions of pupils set to return to schools and colleges over the coming days, there will be a renewed focus on maximising pupils’ time in the classroom, as evidence shows that the students with the highest attendance throughout their time in school gain the best GCSE and A Level results.

Here’s what the data shows:

  • Pupils with higher attainment at KS2 and KS4 had lower levels of absence over the key stage compared to those with lower attainment
  • Pupils who did not achieve the expected standard in reading, writing and maths in 2019 had an overall absence rate of 4.7% over the key stage, compared with 3.5% among pupils who achieved the expected standard and 2.7% among those who achieved the higher standard
  • Pupils who did not achieve grade 9 to 4 in English and maths GCSEs in 2019 had an overall absence rate of 8.8% over the key stage, compared with 5.2% among pupils who achieved a grade 4 and 3.7% among pupils who achieved grade 9 to 5 in both English and maths
  • Generally, the higher the percentage of sessions missed across the key stage at KS2 and KS4, the lower the level of attainment at the end of the key stage
  • Among pupils with no missed sessions over KS2, 83.9% achieved the expected standard compared to 40.2% of pupils who were persistently absent
  • Among pupils with no missed sessions over KS4, 83.7% achieved grades 9 to 4 in English and maths compared to 35.6% of pupils who were persistently absent.

There are only a small number of circumstances where missing a school day is permitted.

When can my child be absent from school?
When you register your child at school, you have a legal duty to ensure your child attends that school regularly.

This means that your child must attend every day that the school is open, unless:

  • Your child is too ill to attend that day
  • You have asked in advance and been given permission by the school for your child to be absent on that day due to exceptional circumstances
  • Your child cannot attend school on that day because it is a day you are taking part in religious observance
  • Your local authority is responsible for arranging your child’s transport to school and it is not available on that day or has not been provided yet
  • You are a gypsy/traveller family with no fixed abode, and you are required to travel for work that day meaning your child cannot attend their usual school; in most circumstances, however, your child is required to attend another school temporarily during such absences.

These are the only circumstances where schools can permit your child to be absent.

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