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At Boxted St Peter’s we celebrate excellent attendance, and hope that every child comes to school every day. It is the parent’s legal responsibility to ensure that their child/ren receive(s) a suitable education and attend school regularly. Therefore, we never sanction term time holidays.

Absence due to illness:

On the first day of absence, and at the earliest convenience, parents should notify the school of their child’s intention to be absent. We will only authorise absences that are reported as being due to illness, where we are satisfied that the absences are genuine.

If the authenticity of the illness is in doubt, we may request that parents provide medical evidence to cover the absence or enlist the support of the school nurse to access relevant medical information in individual cases.

General Practitioners (GPs) are not contractually obliged to provide a sick note for children who are off sick from school. However, if we wish to seek additional medical verification to show that medical advice has been sought, we may ask for proof of:

  • an appointment card / slip
  • a text message confirming that an appointment had been made with the GP
  • a photocopy of the tear off slip retained by the parent when a prescription is issued
  • a photocopy of the label on any medication prescribed for the pupil in question

Missing registration for a medical or dental appointment is counted as an authorised absence. However, we do encourage parents to make appointments out of school hours. Where this is not possible, the pupil will only be out of school for the minimum amount of time necessary for the appointment.

Leave that is not authorised by the school:

In the following circumstances we will record absences as ‘unauthorised’:

  • a parent applies for leave of absence and the Headteacher does not authorise the leave as it is deemed that there are no exceptional circumstances which warrant time off during term-time; or
  • a parent fails to notify a school that they are going away on holiday and simply fails to send their child to school; or
  • a parent reports their child as being absent due to illness and it later transpires that this is not the case and that the family were actually taking a holiday during term-time.

Where a pupil has 10 consecutive sessions (5 consecutive days) of unauthorised absence, the Head teacher may apply to the Missing Education and Child Employment Service for a penalty notice to be issued. The decision to request that a penalty notice be issued remains within a Head teacher’s discretion.

Data Analysis

Every four weeks we analyse each child’s attendance data. The following thresholds will attract further investigation:

  • Below 95% may trigger an early intervention invitation to meet with the Head Teacher
  • A pupil will be deemed to be a ‘persistent absentee’ where their attendance falls below 90%
  • 8 unauthorised sessions within a four week period, may result in a referral to the Local Authority.

Why is good attendance so important?

  • Pupils who do not regularly attend school are more likely to fall short of achieving their full academic potential;
  • Statistics show that 90% of persistent absentees, poor attenders or non-attenders fail to achieve five or more good grades at GCSE and approximately one third end up with no GCSEs at all;
  • Parents/carers have a legal duty to ensure that their child attends school on a regular, full time basis;
  • Schools have a duty to monitor and act early to address patterns of absence;
  • Where parents/carers fail to meet their legal responsibilities, the local authority has powers to take legal action in the form of penalty notices or prosecution;
  • Poor attendance at school can lead to their child’s life chances being detrimentally affected;
  • Poor attendance can lead to disaffection amongst peers (lost friendship groups, missed opportunities to take part in school events e.g. drama, sports)
  • Irregular attendance can cause difficulties for pupils to catch up with work and pastoral events and can lead to long term absence

The following table illustrates the amount of ‘learning hours lost’ as a result of a pupil’s absence.

The Attendance Leader at this school is Vicky Lait.
The Attendance Officer at this school is Jacky O’Sullivan.

For a full version of the Attendance Policy please click here.