Attendance Letter regarding unauthorised absence, persistent absenteeism and punctuality
14th December 2018
We have recently reviewed our Attendance Policy, which is available for you to view on our school website or from the school office. Changes to the policy include school procedures for persistent absentees, for unauthorised leave and for poor punctuality.
As you will be aware the government have recently released guidance to schools regarding unauthorised leave from school. Further to this, the Isle of Wight High Court judgement has reinforced that all pupils who take unauthorised leave during term time should receive a fixed penalty notice. In real terms this means a £60.00 fine per child for both parents/carers/adults in the home. As a reminder, leave of absence is only granted for exceptional circumstances.
It is the school’s duty to ensure an accurate register and therefore, if unauthorised leave is suspected, the school may phone, send a letter and/or send the Educational Welfare Officer to a home address. This may take place despite prior notice of illness.
The school monitors the attendance of all pupils weekly. In particular, we are monitoring those children whose attendance falls below 90%, which classifies them as a Persistent Absentee. When a child’s attendance first falls below 90% parents/carers will be contacted. If after a further 3 weeks the attendance does not rise to above 90% we may request a meeting. If the pattern of decline continues to the 9 week point the school may request medical evidence such as doctor’s appointment cards or copies of prescriptions. After 12 weeks of attendance remaining below 90%, the school may refer the case to the Local Authority for a fixed penalty notice to be issued. Where the school has been made aware of medical issues and evidence for this is provided, the above protocol will not apply.
With regards to punctuality, school starts at 8.55am and pupils are therefore expected to arrive by 8.50am. Registration closes at 9.00am and pupils arriving after this will receive a late mark. Please can we remind you that any absences must be reported by 9.00am. This can be done by phoning the school and leaving a message on the absence line or by texting the school text number on 01785 472019. In order to follow welfare procedures, in instances where we do not receive any reply by 9.30am, we will send out an Educational Welfare Officer to the home address. Persistent lateness will initiate a similar monitoring system to that mentioned for persistent absenteeism.
Thank you for all your help and support in assuring the highest level of attendance for your child.
Miss E Rutherford Mr C Wright
Assistant Headteacher Principal
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