Hackney New Primary School strives for an excellent education for all of our children. We believe that if pupils are to benefit from education, good attendance is crucial. In order for us to achieve academic excellence there are expectations placed on all parties for good attendance and punctuality. These are set out in the Home School Agreement.
Hackney New Primary School celebrates achievement and it is recognised that regular school attendance is a critical contributory factor to good achievement at school and in life. Full and/or improved attendance will be actively promoted and encouraged for all of our children with termly letters home.
We ask all our parents/carers to actively encourage their child/ren to attend school on a regular basis. It is vital that any absence is kept to a minimum. Unnecessary absence will be challenged and where appropriate, unauthorised. Hackney New Primary School is committed to identifying any factors that may impede full attendance, and to acting upon them as soon as possible.
Getting children into good attendance habits from an early age is an essential preparation for success in school and throughout life. Every day missed from school is a lost opportunity. The Reception year is vital to a child’s start in life and social development; it is therefore essential that their attendance is as full and consistent as possible.
If your child is ill, we ask you to contact the school, where possible on the first day of absence by telephone or in person. (Between 8.00am-8.45am).
If an acceptable reason for absence is given the absence may be marked as “authorised”. If no reason for absence has been provided then the absence will be “unauthorised” (the school is under no obligation to accept the reason given for absence when there is doubt as to its validity, schools can record the absence as unauthorised).
We ask our parents to follow this procedure every day, not just the first day of absence, (except when your child is admitted into hospital or has a long term illness).
Please ensure that, unless absolutely necessary, any medical or dental appointments in respect of your child, are made outside school hours. Where such school-time appointments are made, a sight of an appointment card, letter or text, produced to the office staff is a legal requirement. Failure to show an appointment card/letter will be classed as unauthorised. All children must be collected from the school office by an adult. Parents should ensure that wherever possible, children return to school following such medical appointments. (If a child is present for registration but has a medical appointment later, pupil will be marked as present and signed out when necessary).
We ask our parents/carer to provide the school with up to date contact details and telephone numbers on a regular basis, in case of an emergency. We ask our parents that they are contactable should their child be taken ill during the school day. If a child is taken ill during the school day, the parent will be notified and should then arrange to collect their child from reception.
We will keep under review all children whose attendance falls below 96% and keep under consideration reasons given for the absence.
97% – 100% Well Done! This is EXCELLENT
93%– 96% – Be careful!
90% – 92% Improvement needed!
Less than 90% PERSISTENT ABSENCE.
Monitoring and evaluation will take place for all pupils under 96%; consideration will be given for all reasons of absence. If a child’s attendance deteriorates to 90% (depending on the circumstances) the school will issue a ‘Medical Evidence’ letter, stating that all further absences will be unauthorised unless medical evidence is provided. Copy of a prescription or a Doctor / Hospital card is sufficient to support any absence on the grounds of illness. The school will not be asking parents to obtain a Doctor Note. (Should your child’s attendance improve and rise above 96% the restrictions will then be removed).
Where a child’s attendance falls below 90% you may be asked to attend a meeting with the school Headteacher to discuss the impact the absence is having on your child.
Where unauthorised absences reach 10%, the school policy states that a referral to Education Welfare Service will be made. An officer from the Education Welfare Service is then responsible for visiting your home, fixed penalty fines and issuing court proceedings.
Safeguarding Children’s Welfare
When children are not in school we have to ask the question, “Where are they?” This is why we always ask you to contact us before the start of the school day to explain their absence.
Children are absent for a variety of reasons, which give no cause for concern, however if the school do have a concern at any time, it is our duty to refer to the local authorities.
We may be concerned if your child is absent and we have not heard from you. We may also be concerned if your child is absent and we are not satisfied with the explanation. In these circumstances, our procedures are as follows:
- Ensure we have 3 adult contacts in case we are concerned about a child’s absence from school.
- If we have not explanation for a child’s absence, try contacting the parent by SMS and telephone until 10am.
- Log all attempts to contact the family via Arbor.
- At 10am the Designated Safeguarding Lead (Headteacher) will be alerted by the Office Manager.
- Alert Social Care if wider concerns exist for the family.
- Carry out a home visit.
- Contact the police if we remain concerned following a home visit.
Being punctual is very important and helps the day get off to a good start. Please make sure your child is in school for 8.45am, ready to start the day in the same way as their peers. Getting your child to school late on a regular basis gives them a subtle message that expectations are somehow different for them and this can impact on their achievement.
Our school records as late any arrival after 8.45am. If your child is late, they need to be signed in at the main school office.
Registers are marked in accordance with the above and if a child is marked late before registration closes (before 9.00am) the register shall be marked with the coding “L”. The school will monitor repeated lateness and patterns of lates e.g. Monday mornings.
Regular lateness is disruptive to your child’s education and wellbeing. Minutes lost can add up to a considerable amount of learning lost and can seriously disadvantage your child. When your child arrives late at school, he/she misses the teacher’s instructions and the introduction to the day and to the activities. Your child may also feel embarrassed at having to enter the classroom late.
Repeated and consistent lateness is an unsettling start to the day for both your child and the school. It disrupts the learning of others.
Home- time Arrangements
If for any reason you are likely to be late collecting your child, please call the school office. If children are uncollected from school then we will take action in line with our ‘Children Uncollected from School’ policy.
The Government has produced new regulations and it is the policy of the Local Authority that family holidays should not be taken. NO HOLIDAYS DURING TERM TIME WILL BE AUTHORISED. If you feel you have special circumstances to warrant time off during term-time then it is the parent’s responsibility to apply to the school for leave of absence during school time.
Form – “Application for Leave of Absence” must be completed, before booking a family holiday (Appendix 1). The Headteacher and school governors will carefully consider your reasons. (Requests made for September, start of the academic year, and May, Assessment period, will not be considered).
All applications for any leave of absence must be made by parents/carer 20 days in advance.
A copy of your form indicating whether or not the absence has been authorised will be sent home to you in your child’s book bag.
Where an application for ‘Leave of Absence’ has been declined a letter will be sent home with the child concerned to inform the parents/guardian the request has been refused. Where leave of absence is taken and declined by the school this make result in a referral for other Local Authority services to work with the family.
School is statutory for all children aged 5 and over. Poor attendance directly affects the academic progress of children and can lead to legal action. Poor attendance levels and punctuality will be challenged. Where a child’s attendance or punctuality is causing concern, the school will engage support from the Education Investigation Service, via a referral to carry out statutory intervention. This may lead to formal proceedings against parents/carers. Penalty notices can be imposed for:-
- Unauthorised absence from school.
- When a child is excluded from school but seen in a public place.
- When a holiday is taken in term time and the absence has not been authorised.
- When a child/children are identified out of school on a truancy sweep.
- Poor attendance levels.
- Arriving late for school.
Rewards and Incentives
At the end of the school academic year, medals will be given to any child who achieves 99% or 100% attendance for the whole school year. Certificates are given to children with 96-99% attendance.
Your child’s Attendance % is accessible to you via our online management information system; Arbor. You will receive login details for this around the time of your first parent meeting with teachers.
Roles and Responsibilities
The School operates a whole school policy for the Management of Attendance and in order that school procedures are efficiently and effectively implemented, the following members of staff undertake the following responsibilities:
The Headteacher has overall responsibility for “Attendance” at Hackney New Primary School. Our Office Manager is responsible for maintaining pupil registers and will monitor on a regular basis trends in absence and punctuality. The Office Manager will review all pupils whose attendance falls below 96% and keep under consideration reasons given for the absence.
The Office Manager will also raise any points of concern to the Headteacher as necessary.