Over the last few years there have been many discussions nationally about children attending school and the impact absence has on the child’s development and academic achievements. Some of this information is confusing and some parents never quite know what the impact of their child’s absence has on their attainment (what grades they get) and progress. This information sheet has therefore been produced to support all parents in making the right choices about school attendance. It is a joint letter from the Governing Body and the School.
Facts from the Authority
90% attendance during 1 school year = ½ day missed every week!
90% attendance during 1 school year = 1 day missed every other week!
90% attendance during1 school year = 4 whole weeks of lessons missed!
90% attendance over 5 years of school = ½ a school year missed!
Research suggests that 17 missed school days a year = GCSE grade DROP in achievement. (DFE)
Facts from our SATS
Our Year 6 SATS results have been analysed by a consultant to assess the impact of absence on children’s achievements. The data collected looked at how much time children were absent for the whole of Key Stage 2 and for the final school year. At Thackley it was found that those children who had above good achieved a significantly higher grade in all tests which included reading, writing, maths and science. Those children whose attendance was below the national average of 95% attained much lower scores and often dropped a whole grade for example from a level 5 to a level 4 or from a level 4 to a level 3.
So what happens if your child is ill?
If your child is ill, you have a responsibility to inform the school of their illness by 8:30am each day for every day of illness. For those parents who do not contact the school, a text is sent from the Attendance team asking of the child’s whereabouts. If no response is gained, the parent will receive a phone call from our Learning Mentor, Miss H. Walker. If there has been no response after three days, on the advice of the Educational Social Worker Miss H Walker and Mrs J Preston will make a home visit to the child that day and will continue to do so until a response is gained. A child’s welfare is paramount and everybody needs to know they are safe. If at any point we have concerns regarding a child’s safety then an immediate referral is made to the Educational Welfare Team.
A child should not return to school until they are fit and well.
What happens if your child’s attendance falls below a certain percentage?
If your child’s attendance falls below 95% our Attendance Team will monitor their attendance within school. The Attendance Team monitor and track attendance termly throughout the year. If you require any support with your child’s attendance please contact out Learning Mentor Miss H Walker who will be happy to offer her support.
If your child’s attendance falls below 90% our Head of School, Mrs Patterson, will contact you to arrange a meeting to discuss the matter further.
The Educational Social Worker requests that they are informed of every child whose attendance falls below 85%. They will monitor the situation and then take action as and when required.
Any child whose attendance falls below 85% is regarded nationally as a child who has persistent absence. The government is very concerned with this and has invested heavily to monitor the attendance of these children. Schools have targets to reduce the levels of persistent absence and Educational Social Workers work closely with families to support them in getting their child to school each day. Each child and family will be given targets for attendance and these will be closely monitored by a range of agencies outside of school.
Leave of Absence during Term Time
Following changes to the Pupil Registration Regulation in September 2013 Headteachers will only grant leave of absence in exceptional circumstances. It is for school to decide what constitutes ‘exceptional circumstances’ and apply this consistently
All applications for leave of absence must be made in advance by the parent(s), carer(s) or corporate parent that the pupil normally resides with and Children’s Services have provided schools with a standard ‘Leave of Absence Request Form’
No holidays will be authorised during the SATS period or during the first three weeks in September as this can be very unsettling to the child and delays the settling in process for the new year.
Exceptional Circumstances are still classified as absences and will still count towards your child’s attendance figure.
Sickness and holidays
A child who has been absent from school for 10 days in total due to illness and then takes ten days holiday from school may be classed as a persistent absence child due to the amount of time they are away from school. This applies to each new school year.
Bradford Council has a policy stating that where a child is absent from school for more than 20 consecutive days, due to extended leave, the school may remove that child’s name from the school register and offer that place to another child on the waiting list. Schools across Bradford do apply this rule.
If your child is late to school, a parent or carer must sign them in at the school office using the new inventory system and a reason for your child’s lateness . If a reason is not provided or if your child arrives after the register has closed an unauthorised absent mark will be given. Repeated lateness due to the traffic is not authorised.
Unless your child is receiving extensive dental treatment, all dentist appointments should be made out of the school day.Dentist appointments during the school day will not be authorised.
Attend and Achieve!
If a school can improve attendance by 1%, they will see a 5-6% improvement in attainment. (DFE)
Please help us and your child by ensuring their attendance remains above 95%, allowing them to achieve their potential.
Ofsted identified that our school has an issue with the amount of families that remove their children during term time for holidays. This letter states the facts and explains the roles of everybody involved. Our aim is to ensure every child receives an education. Hopefully, together, we can do our best for our children.