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Attendance Policy

At Littleton School we regard regular attendance and punctuality as very important in order for pupils to progress and achieve their potential. (See attached sheet Appendix 1.)

The DFE collects all attendance figures from schools as they are monitoring the effect of attendance on attainment. They have found a direct correlation between absence and poor attainment. All absences and late attendances are recorded as codes and sent to DFE each year.

Attendance targets are set for each school. The targets are discussed with and monitored by the Educational Welfare Officer, (EWO), as well as with the School Improvement Partner in the Autumn Visit. Littleton’s target for Attendance is 96%.

Attendance figures are published and scrutinised by Ofsted every Autumn Term. These are available to schools only, through RAISEonline.

Every term the EWO looks at authorised absences, unauthorised absences and persistent absentees. Any causes for concern can be referred to the EWO, who will then contact the parents or guardians.

Start times and procedures for late pupils
Each child is marked present each day for two sessions – AM and PM (after lunch).

The first bell rings at 8.40 a.m. and the second bell at 8.45 a.m. Any pupil arriving after the second bell at 8.45am will be marked ‘L’ for Late in the register. Registration closes at 9.00am and those who arrive after this time will be marked as ‘U’ (arrive after registration closes) which is an unauthorised absence. If a child is late (after 8.45) then the parent must sign the child in at the front school office.

The office needs to know reasons for absence in order to complete the register correctly. It is also important for the dinner register to be accurate. On the first day of absence if no note or telephone call is received from the parent/carer by 9.30am the school will contact them promptly.

If a pupil is ill, the parent must telephone the office before 9.30am on the same day, so that the correct code can be recorded in the register. If the pupil has a medical appointment, the parent should either inform the office by phone or send a note to the office before the appointment.

Holidays during term time are not authorised. If a parent intends to take a child out of school during term time then they must fill out the form –Application for leave of absence for exceptional circumstances. This is available from the front office.

The Education (Pupil Registration)(England)(Amendment) Regulations 2013, which becomes law on 1st September 2013 state that Head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless
there are exceptional circumstances. The Head teacher is required to determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if leave is granted.

In accordance with the above Regulations, requests for leave of absence are treated sympathetically, but only in exceptional circumstances can they be approved. The policy of Surrey County Council to which this school has agreed, states that parents who take their child out of school for five days or more during term time, without the authority of the Head teacher will each be liable to receive a penalty notice. In these circumstances, a warning will not be given where it can be shown that parents had previously been warned that such absences would not be authorised and that they will be liable to receive a Penalty Notice if the leave of absence is taken.

Penalty Notices
On behalf of Surrey County Council the EWO may issue a Penalty Notice as an alternative to the prosecution of a parent/carer for their child’s unauthorised absence from school. The recipient will be required to pay a fixed penalty.

The amount payable on issue of a Penalty Notice is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days.
If the Penalty Notice is not paid within 28 days, the Local Authority must prosecute the parent/carer for failing to ensure regular school attendance under Section 444 Education Act 1996.

The issue of a Penalty Notice will also be considered where attendance has fallen below 85% and there are no less than 10 unauthorised sessions during the preceding 6 school weeks. The parents’ failure to engage with supportive measures proposed by the school or Education Welfare will be a factor when considering the issue of a Penalty Notice. Unauthorised absence will include late arrival after the close of registration without good reason.
With the exception of unauthorised leave of absence taken in term time, parents will be sent a formal warning of their liability to receive such a notice before it is issued.

Incentives for Good Attendance at Littleton
Surrey County Council has a character called MAC (Make Attendance Count) who visits the school to talk to pupils in Assembly, in order to encourage regular attendance.

Each half term the class with the least number of late marks in the register wins the school mascot ‘Punctuality Pig’ to keep in there class room.
Parents are informed via Newsletter of Class with best attendance.
Pupils are rewarded for 100% attendance at the end of each term with an Attendance Certificate. At the end of each year Certificates and £5 book tokens are awarded for 100% yearly attendance.

Monitoring Attendance
Attendance is monitored at Littleton by the School Secretary and Head Teacher each week. Every term low attendance (below 95%) will be addressed. This will be either a letter to the parent or a meeting to discuss ways to improve the attendance of the child concerned.

The EWO visits the school half termly to discuss any concerns of attendance with the Head Teacher.

Changing Schools
It is important that if a family decide to send there child/children in their care to a different school that they inform the Head teacher as soon as possible. A pupil will not be removed from the school roll until the following information has been received in writing:

  • The date the pupil will be leaving Littleton and starting the next school.
  • The address of the new school.
  • The new home address, if it is known

The pupil’s school records will then be sent on to the new school as soon as possible. In the event that the school has not been informed of the above information, the family will be referred to the Education Welfare Officer.

This Policy will be given to all parents, so that they are aware of the school’s high regard of regular attendance.

Review date September 2014


Appendix 1

Impact of poor attendance on pupils:

Missing curriculum

Ability to participate in lessons adversely affected

Out of routine in class

Social skills – relationships are affected

Attainment/achievement affected

Lack of self esteem/self confidence

Impact of poor attendance on the school:

Class disruption

Lack of consistency in learning

Pupil’s behaviour can be negative if school is missed

School statistics – SATs results and school reputation

Ofsted reports and inspections

Welfare issues, support services involvement increased

Relationship with parents and the school can be difficult

Teachers having to repeat lessons missed

Possible increase of Special Educational Needs