Regular attendance is absolutely vital to a child’s progress, and it is a parents lawful duty to ensure that their child attends school therefore it is assumed that absence will normally only be for ill health.
If your child is absent, Parents / Carers are asked to telephone school on the first morning of absence, before 9.15 a.m., and send a brief note of explanation to the teacher concerned when your child returns to school.
The school operates a text messaging system whereby if we haven’t heard about a particular child’s absence we will contact the parents concerned. If your child has not been marked for morning registration, the school will endeavour to contact parents / carers by 10am. (Please refer to the ‘Parent Letters’ page for the link to register with the school’s ParentMail 2 system) If you do recieve a text it would be appreciated if you could reply by phone as soon as possible.
Apart from illness, all other reasons for absence must be notified in advance. Although Headteachers are authorised to grant leave of absence this is only in ‘exceptional circumstances’. This will mean that any request made for a holiday will automatically be declined unless exceptional circumstances are agreed with the Headteacher and pupil’s attendance records will be marked as ‘unauthorised holiday’ should the holiday still take place. In extreme circunstances fines may be issued.
Any absence requests MUST be made in writing and at least 2 weeks in advance. The Attendance Information Officers (AIO) scrutinise all absences on a regular basis. If your child is late for school (after 9.00am) without a valid reason, the register is marked as an absence and this is counted as unauthorised.
The law states that it is the school which makes the decision as to whether the reason given can be authorised. Authorisation for absence cannot be given for the following:
- Visiting relatives or relatives visiting
- Day trips / Birthdays
- Family holidays during term time
- Oversleeping and therefore taking off the whole morning or day
If it is necessary for your child to visit a Doctor or Dentist during school time the relevant form must be completed with a copy of the appointment letter attached to it. If it is necessary for a child to be absent for a period of time due to medical reasons the teacher will, if you ask, supply some suitable work.
Swallow Dell Primary takes attendance very seriously and expects every pupil to achieve at least 95% attendance throughout the year. Any problems with regular attendance are best sorted out between the school, parents/carer and the child as soon as there are concerns, and to ensure this we are happy to work with families to resolve issues that could be causing problems for children to be in school. However, the school expects parents/carers to remind their child of the importance of the link between regular attendance and achievement not only in their school work but in their relationships with other children and staff, and their self-esteem.