If your child is going to be absent for any reason, we need you to let the school office know before 10:00 am on each day of their absence.
Please telephone 0191 643 2801 and select Option 1 to report your child’s absence.
THE ATTENDANCE ‘TRAFFIC LIGHT’ SYSTEM:
Red Zone – Persistent Absentees: A child is considered to be a ‘Persistent Absentee’ (PA) if they have missed 10% or more school time across the school year, for whatever reason. Absence at this level is doing considerable damage to any child’s educational prospects. Whilst we monitor all absences rigorously; children who have reached the PA category, or are at risk of being in the PA category, are given priority. Parents/carers of children within the PA category may be asked to enter into a parenting contract with the school.
PA children are tracked and monitored carefully through our pastoral system and we also combine this with academic mentoring where absence affects attainment. Where persistent absenteeism is not improving and is therefore a significant concern, school may make a referral to Social Care or suggest that a family engages in an Early Help Assessment to help identify how to support the family to improve attendance. School will not authorise absences for children with attendance of less than 90% without additional information. For example, if a child in the PA category is ill, confirmation from a medical practitioner will be required in order to authorise this absence.
School will contact parents/carers when their child’s attendance falls below 90% to inform them that they have entered into a legal monitoring period of 4 weeks. During the monitoring period, attendance needs to be no less than 95%. Attendance that fails to meet the 95% target will result in school referring parents/carers to the Local Authority to issue a Penalty Warning Notice. The process is then repeated with immediate effect. If the attendance target is not met again, school will refer parents/carers to the Local Authority to issue a Penalty Notice (fine). A Penalty Notice is a fine of £60 per parent per child if it is paid within 21 days of receipt. If not paid within 21 days, this rises to £120 per parent per child. If the penalty (fine) is not paid in full within 28 days, the Local Authority will prosecute parents under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996. If found guilty, parents could be fined up to £2,500 or receive up to three months in prison.
Amber Zone – ‘At Risk’: Children with attendance between 90% and 95.9% are in the Amber zone. There is clear evidence that children with this level of attendance are at risk of under achieving. School will begin formal monitoring at this stage.
Green Zone: Children with attendance of 96% or above are in the Green Zone, which gives children the best possible chance to fulfil their potential
Please note: Whether a child is in the Red, Amber or Green zone, a referral will be made to the Local Authority to issue a Penalty Notice (fine) if there is unauthorised leave of absence of 5 consecutive days. A Penalty Notice is a fine of £60 per parent per child if it is paid within 21 days of receipt. If not paid within 21 days this rises to £120 per parent per child. If the penalty is not paid in full within 28 days, the Local Authority will prosecute parents under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996. If found guilty, parents could be fined up to £2,500 or receive up to three months in prison.
When your child says they feel unwell, it can be hard deciding whether to keep them off school. Not every illness will mean your child should stay away from school. Whether you send your child to school will depend upon how severe you think the illness is. This link will take you to the NHS guidelines that should help you make that judgement:
If children have an infectious illness, when deciding whether the absence can be authorised, we use the Public Health England guidance to schools about the recommended time that children should be kept away from school:
Medication – In order to encourage regular attendance and full participation in school life, we urge parents/carers to speak to their GPs about how the timings of medication can fit around the school day. If staff are asked to administer GP prescribed medicines, we follow these guidelines:
- Non-prescribed medicines cannot be administered to any child.
- Medicines can only be given if parents/carers have given written permission.
- Medicines can only be administered according to prescription dosage and where the frequency is specified as ‘4 times daily’ (‘3 times daily’ medication can be administered by parents/carers before school, after school and before bed).
- Medicines must have the pharmacy label showing the child’s name, the prescribed dosage and frequency of administration.
- Medicines must be handed in at the school office to be stored in a secure place. (Children who require the use of inhalers or epipens will always have immediate access to them.)
HOLIDAYS DURING SCHOOL TERM TIME
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013, SI 2013 No 756, amended the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, SI 2006 No. 1751 to remove references to family holiday. Prior to the changes, Headteachers could grant a leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday during term time in ‘special circumstances’ of up to ten school days per year.
According to the regulations which took effect in September 2013, Headteachers cannot grant leave of absence during term-time unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’. Any requests for leave of absence must be put in writing, so that the Headteacher and school’s Governing Body can be satisfied that the circumstances are exceptional and therefore warrant the granting of leave. Examples of exceptional circumstance might be to attend the funeral of a close family member or to receive respite care that has been recommended in writing by a health professional as part of rehabilitation from a medical issue.
A referral will be made to the Local Authority to issue a Penalty Notice (fine) if there is unauthorised leave of absence (e.g. a term-time holiday) of 5 consecutive days. A Penalty Notice is a fine of £60 per parent per child if it is paid within 21 days of receipt. If not paid within 21 days this rises to £120 per parent per child. If the penalty is not paid in full within 28 days, the Local Authority will prosecute parents under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996. If found guilty, parents could be fined up to £2,500 or receive up to three months in prison.