At Moorside Community Primary School we believe that attendance and punctuality at school is not only a legal requirement, but is fundamental to the child’s development and attainment. Local Authorities, Schools, Parents and the wider community all have a role to play in improving attendance. At Moorside we have implemented procedures designed to ensure that all our pupils attend regularly.
Absence Reporting Procedure
We expect the parent/carer to make contact with school before 9.30am on each day to report that their child will be absent from school. It is the school’s decision to classify the absence (authorised or unauthorised). The school has a first day response system in place in which the following happens:
- Day One: Text message send to 1st contact for an absent child
- Day Two: Telephone call sent to 1st contact if no response to text message.
- Day Three: Further telephone call. If no response a letter will be sent to the child’s known home address.
Following Salford City Council guidelines the school can request the issue of a penalty notice to parents in the following circumstance:
- For unauthorised holidays in term time.
- When a child has 10 sessions unauthorised, including any unauthorised sessions recorded due to arriving late for school (1 day = 2 sessions).
Holidays in Term Time
Parents are strongly urged to avoid booking a family holiday during term time. Parents have a legal duty to make sure that their child aged 5-16, if registered at a school, attends that school regularly and consistently punctual.
Requests for holidays in term time must be requested by completing the Holiday in Term Time request form. This can be obtained from the school office. Once completed the parent / carer must return the form to the office. The Headteacher will then indicate on the form whether or not the request has been authorised. This will then be returned to the parent / carer.
Under new legislation from DFE, holidays during term time are not permitted except in exceptional circumstances and under the discretion of the Headteacher. Unauthorised holidays taken during term time will result in £60 fine per pupil per parent. If the fine is not paid within 21 days, the fine will increase to £120. If a child’s absence has been recorded as sickness but is later proven that an unauthorised holiday has been taken, a fine can also be issued after the child returns to school.
Should a holiday be taken when no written request has been made, a request for the implementation of a penalty notice will be made to the Local Authority.
Should a child have a medical appointment, it is expected that they return to school to complete the school day. Appointment cards with times and dates should be shown to school when taking your child out.
If there are any attendance concerns it is the responsibility of the parent / carer to inform the school.
This enables the school to work in partnership with the parent/carer by identifying what the issues are and devising a joint action plan to implement interventions that can improve the situation.
Through reviewing the plan on a regular basis and through listening to the views of all parties, it is anticipated that there will be improvements and good working relationships established based on honesty and trust.
Pupils are categorised as being ‘Persistently Absent’ if they accumulate 10%, or more absences. For children whose attendance falls into the ‘persistent absence’ category, parents/carers will be contacted as detailed in the Attendance Policy and/or they will be invited into school.
During this meeting:
- An action plan will be compiled with input from the parent/carer, school and pupil.
- Targets will be agreed and reviewed until that child is no longer in the persistent absence category.
- There would be a focus on links between attendance and attainment.
- A school / parent contract will be offered if it is deemed appropriate
If the parent fails to attend the meeting or there is no significant improvement in attendance, then the absence issue shall be escalated to the Education Welfare Officer (EWO).