It is vital that parents fill in and return to us the ‘contact’ form, which provides us with an up-to-date home address and telephone number and also details of where they can be contacted when at work. You should also nominate someone else as a contact if there are times when you are unavailable.
Attendance Policy Quick Guide for Parents
We expect pupils to attend school for 100% of the academic year.
You can support your child to have excellent attendance by taking these steps:
- Ensure your child arrives on time for school every day and is ready to learn. Arriving after registration is recorded as an unauthorised absence. Pupils must be in school by 8.50am.
- Avoid taking holidays during term time.
- If your child appears to be only slightly ill, send them in to school. We have staff who will contact you if their condition deteriorates.
- Book any medical appointments outside of school hours. If this is unavoidable, please book for as late in the afternoon as possible and inform the school of appointments in advance.
- Supply a copy of the appointment card or hospital letter if requested if your child has an appointment during school hours.
If your child becomes reluctant to go to school or you need help, please contact the school immediately; we are more likely to be able to work together to solve any problems if we act early.
‘On the day’ absences: what should I do if my child is not ‘fit’ to go into school?
On each day your child is unfit to come to school, please report this absence using the absence line on 01508 480335 to let us know. In the message you must leave your child’s full name, year and class and give the specific reason for absence. The information you give will be recorded on our official register.
Leave of Absence
There may be exceptional circumstances where you need to request a leave of absence for your child. Please use our ‘Leave of absence request’ form to make these types of requests. The form should be submitted in advance of the leave of absence, via the School Office. You will receive a response, to advise if the request has been granted or declined.
Pupils are expected to arrive on time for school in the morning and for every lesson during the day. Your child is late to school if they are not in class by 8.50am.
The Government remains very clear that no child should miss school apart from in exceptional circumstances and schools must continue to take steps to reduce absence to support children’s attainment. I hope we can count on your support in this matter.
Please contact your child’s class teacher initially if you require any support with ensuring your child’s regular school attendance.
Term Time Holiday
Attendance at school and legal intervention
Where parents decide to have their child registered at school, they have an additional legal duty to ensure their child attends that school regularly. Research commissioned by the Department for Education shows missing school for even a day can mean a child is less likely to achieve good grades, which can have a damaging effect on their life chances. At Thurton CE VC Primary School our aim is to work with parents to ensure that all our pupils receive the most from their education and reach their full potential.
We would like to remind all parents about the law that requires them to ensure that their child attends school regularly. The Government is very clear that no child should miss school apart from in exceptional circumstances and schools must take steps to reduce absence to support children’s attainment.
The DfE policy document entitled, ‘Working together to improve school attendance’ states:
- Only exceptional circumstances warrant a leave of absence. Schools should consider each application individually taking into account the specific facts and circumstances and relevant background context behind the request.
- If a leave of absence is granted, it is for the headteacher to determine the length of the time the pupil can be away from school.
- As head teachers should only grant leaves of absence in exceptional circumstances it is unlikely a leave of absence will be granted for the purposes of a family holiday.
If the school does not receive a request for leave, the head teacher will be unable to consider your individual circumstances and the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. There will be no obligation on the head teacher to reconsider authorising the leave if an application has not been made in advance.
The Local Authority operates a system where any pupil will meet the criteria for legal intervention if they have at least 9 sessions (4.5 school days) lost to unauthorised absence by the pupil during 6 school weeks.
The intervention could be in the form of a fixed penalty notice. Any pupil at Thurton CE VC Primary School who meets the criteria, will be referred to the Local Authority for action to be considered.
If a fixed penalty notice is issued, the arrangement for the payment will be detailed on the notice. The penalty is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. A parent may receive more than one separate penalty notice resulting from unauthorised absence. When penalty notices are issued each parent will receive one per child. Therefore, each parent could receive multiple notices if they have more than 1 child who has been absent. You should be aware that failure to pay the total amount within the timescale will result in legal action being taken. In some circumstances, the Norfolk County Council Attendance Team may choose not to issue a further penalty notice in the same academic year and may instead choose to prosecute a parent under the Education Act 1996 S444. There is no right of appeal by parents against a fixed penalty notice.
A copy of our Absence Request form can be downloaded here.
Health & Welfare
As parents, carers, teachers, support staff or governors, we take our role in ensuring the wellbeing of every child in our care very seriously. Staff are trained in first aid and we have a school nursing team who visit the school for the Flu immunisation programme and the National Child Measurement Programme.
The best place for a sick child is at home in bed. Children who have had an accident or are taken ill at school are seen by members of staff who are qualified first-aiders. If it is thought that a child needs further medical help or is unfit to be in school, parents are notified immediately. If necessary the school will call an ambulance or take a child to the medical practitioners.
Any medication which has to be administered during school hours must be clearly labelled and taken to the school office, where it will be given by a member of staff as required. There is a form to fill in to ensure that the correct information is available to the relevant staff.