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Attendance at School
1. Regular school attendance is extremely important for children to make good progress in their learning. Pupils need to attend regularly and punctually if they are to take full advantage of the educational opportunities
Absence from School due to Sickness
2. If your child is unfit for school, the parent/carer should contact the school on the first day, in person or by telephone. The school must be kept informed throughout the absence. When the child returns, he/she must bring a written note signed by the parent/carer for each period of absence. Absence in excess of 5 days will need to be covered by a medical certificate. If a certificate is not received the absence will be referred to the London Borough of Havering Educational Welfare Officer. Absences will not be authorised without a written explanation. Other reasons for absence must be discussed with the school each time. Leave may be granted in an emergency (e.g. bereavement) or for medical appointments that are unavoidable in school time, provided a written explanation is received. In certain circumstances we may contact the parent to ascertain the reason for non-attendance.
3. Absence for sickness which exceeds 5 school days will require a medical certificate from your doctor. Continual sickness absence which totals 5 day will be referred to the Local authority that may require a sickness certificate from your doctor for any medical absence.
4. If you believe that your case may be deemed as “exceptional" (see item 14), please fill in a leave of absence form as you have done in the past. These are available from the school office. It is vital that you include evidence with your application. Without evidence, your request will be refused.
5. If your child does not want to attend school for any reason, it is important that parents/carers do not collude with the child by supplying a note stating sickness as a reason for absence. Parents/carers must discuss the problem with the school at the first opportunity and, if it cannot be resolved, a referral may be made to the Education Welfare Service. In some circumstances it may be necessary for a GP to give a certificate to cover each absence.
6. If a parent/carer feels they cannot discuss the problem with the school directly, the Education Welfare Officer, who works independently of the school, can liaise between school and home. Parents/carers can contact the Education Welfare Officer through the school or directly on 01708 434343
Recording absence from School
7. Class teachers will mark children as present on the SIMs system in the classroom at the start of the morning session and the start of the afternoon session. Children who are not present at the start of the session will be marked absent. Children who arrive late in the classroom will be recorded as late. Children arriving late must report to the reception desk to record their presence on the school site.
Authorisation of Absence from School
8. Authorised absences are those which the school agree are unavoidable, e.g. illness, family bereavement etc. and absences for which leave has been given, e.g. medical appointments etc.
9. Unauthorised absences are those that the school considers unreasonable, e.g. minor ailments, truancy, excessive lateness, shopping, minding the house etc. An absence is unauthorised until an acceptable written explanation is received. If no acceptable explanation is received in writing, on return to school the absence will remain unauthorised. It is for the school, not the parent/carer, to decide whether an absence should be recorded as authorised or unauthorised on receipt of a note. The submission of a note does not automatically register the absence as authorised.
10. Appointments for GP, dentist etc. that have to be made during school hours should be notified to the school, in writing, in advance. The appointment card or a note is acceptable. Whenever possible, appointments should be made out of school time and an excess of such appointments may be treated as unauthorised absences.
Holidays in Term Time
11. Holidays should only be taken during school holidays.
12. Due to changes in the Education Act, regulations under, Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) 2013 Regulations: The legislation states that as from September 2013, schools cannot authorise any leave of absence during term time unless they deem it to be an exceptional circumstance.
13. If you believe that your case may be deemed as “exceptional”, please fill in a leave of absence form as you have done in the past. These are available from the school office. It is vital that you include evidence with your application. Without evidence, your request will be refused, eg :-
If the child is taking an exam in music or dance or is attending a sporting event where they are representing the county we would need to see official evidence of the date and time the child is required to be there;
We will still be taking the child’s attendance into account and it will need to be at least 97% for authorisation to be granted.
14. La Salette define the term “exceptional” as an occasion that cannot be planned for, so we are afraid that anything that can be planned e.g. all family holidays, weddings, family birthday parties or surprise trips booked by relatives etc. will not now be authorised. We realise that extended family will sometimes arrange events and it will be out of your control, but we cannot authorise any child’s absence.
15. The Local Authority may issue parents who take children on unauthorised term time holidays with a penalty notice. Any unauthorised holiday may result in a penalty notice fine of £60 per parent per child (which will be increase to £120 if not paid within 21 days and due by 28 days) being issued by the Local Authority.
16. The Penalty Notice will be issued in line with the Local Code of Conduct section 11 that states that a Penalty Notice may be issued: “Where a parent has taken the pupil on holiday during term time without the school’s authorisation or (in cases where the school has authorised absence) has failed to return the pupil to school on the date agreed with the school”.
17. La Salette endeavours in every way possible to encourage good attendance. Certificates are given at the end of the year to children with excellent attendance and these are given at an assembly in order that the pupils are an example to others. All end of year reports to parents include a copy of the child’s attendance record. Either very good or poor attendances are noted by the Head Teacher and a written remark may be made on the report.