At St. Mary’s we believe that children who attend school regularly benefit in the short and long term. We want to make sure that children are at school as often as possible so that we can give them an excellent education. It’s in your interest to make sure your child has a good record of attendance.
Our Achievement for All Team work to improve and monitor attendance for all children. We hold parent workshops, coffee mornings, individual meetings, assemblies and make sure that parents were really well informed about the importance of attendance at school.
Our school Attendance Target for 2016/17 is 96%
If your child is missing school regularly, our ‘Home School Support Officer’ Mariola Reron will contact you to see what can be done to improve the situation. We work closely with our Education Welfare Officer, Samantha Aryiku who monitors the school attendance, punctuality and progress.
Who is responsible?
By Law all children of school age (5-16) must receive full-time education. As a parent, you are responsible for making sure this happens and making sure they attend.
Schools must take an attendance register twice a day. At St. Mary’s registration takes place at 9am for all children and then at 1pm for Reception, 1.15pm for Keystage one and 1.30pm for Keystage two. Any absences will be recorded with a specific code depending on the type of absence. Absences fall into two main categories; authorised or unauthorised. Only the school, not parents can authorise an absence. If you want a leave of absence for your child you must ask for permission in advance. If your child is sick or for any other unforeseen absence, you should let the school know as soon as possible.
Your child must arrive at school on time, the school day begins at 9am. Arriving late can disruptive and unsettling for your child and the rest of the class. It is also sets a bad example for lifelong learning skills.
Regular attendance and punctuality at school is key to steady pupil progress and enjoyment of learning, it is vital that appropriate health and safety regulations and safeguarding procedures are followed and that all pupils are accounted for. We are working closely with the local authority to improve attendance and punctuality.
The school bell rings at 8.55am.
Children should already be in the school playground ready to line up.
Registration begins for children as soon as they go into class with their class teacher.
If your child is not in their class line at 9am then parents/carers will be required to register their child’s late arrival.
Any late children/parents (for all year groups) can only enter the school via the Key stage two entrance to register their late attendance with a designated member of staff ‘Punctuality Officer’ and receive a late slip.
Parents/Children will need to give their late slip to their class teacher to show that they have been marked as present in school.
To help your child:
Telephone if your child is going to be late or absent.
Escort your child into the school premises (please do not leave them to come in on their own).
If your child has a mobile phone they must hand it into the office before the start of the school day.
Family holidays during term time
If you need to make a request for a leave of absence, then you need to complete an ‘Application for Leave of Absence in Term Time’ form.
Our Headteacher may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. You will receive a response about your request. If the Headteacher refuses permission and your child is absent during the requested period then this would be recorded as an unauthorised absence. You will then be at risk of a fine or prosecution for non-attendance issued by the Education Welfare Service.
Sick children and Medical appointments
If your child is unwell on a school day, please contact the school on the first day of the absence to let us know on 020 7359 1870 in the morning to let them know, with the specific reason as this needs to be logged in the class register. We ask parents to set medical appointments out of school hours. If you are unable to do this then we expect children to return to school once the appointment has ended. Children should not be absent for an entire school day.
Parents’ are asked to fill in the ‘School Absence’ form once their child has returned to school from an illness or appointment. If required you may be asked to provide medical evidence such as; appointment cards, doctors’ letters or notes. However if the absence is long-term or repeated we may want proof that your child is genuinely unwell and unable to attend school. Our advice is for you to keep copies of any appointment letters or medical reports.
If your child needs to take a prescribed medication during the school day, please arrange ensure that you have arranged this with the school. Please click here ‘Inclusion Information’ for more information about this.
Longer Term absence
If your child is absent from school for medical reasons for a substantial period, the school will ask you to provide additional medical information to verify the reason for absence.
When a parent or sibling is ill
If a parent or a sibling is unwell then the school still expect the well child to attend school. Sibling or parental illness is not a valid reason and your child’s absence will be unauthorised. A parent should make alternate arrangements to get the well child to school. Family illness is not considered a legitimate reason for school absence.
To find out more about the Local Authority’s commitment to improve attendance, please read the following document.