School Attendance and Punctuality
The issue of school attendance and punctuality was discussed at the last full governing body meeting and a revised Attendance Policy was debated at the meeting. The focus of the discussions centred on the fact that the Governors recognise that there is a direct relationship between pupils’ work and progress and their attendance at school. The Governors also took into account the Department for Education and Skills guidance on the matter, which is clear and unequivocal, and states that authorisation for holidays within term time, should only be given under exceptional circumstances.
The governing body has been required by KCC to set a target level for absences. Our absence rate is well above the target set, it has been recognised that in order for this target to be met, the number of authorised absences within a school year has to be reduced. The school has to send a detailed absence return to KCC at the end of each term.
You may also be interested to know that admissions appeals panels, when considering appeals from parents for entry to popular secondary schools, may take into account children’s attendance records at their primary school.
Taking into account all the above, the school’s policy on authorising absences in term time will be as follows.
Authorisation will only be given in exceptional circumstances. These circumstances are defined as;
1. Authorisation will only be given for the main family holiday, when there are exceptional circumstances. There is no entitlement to; a second holiday, days either side of a weekend or for a half day’s absence to make travel easier.
2. Compassionate circumstances e.g. bereavement, attendance at a special wedding, anniversary etc.
3. Attendance at an interview or an exam
4. Participation in a regional or national sporting event.
It is important to maintain the highest standards of attendance for a variety of reasons; one already being mentioned. Other factors include the disruption to other children’s work caused by pupils returning after a holiday and needing specific individual attention so that they may catch up with their peers. If the schools attendance is not in line with its target then the school can only achieve “Satisfactory” from an OFSTED Inspection, this would be a disappointment to parents, staff, governors and children who are all continually striving for an “Outstanding” OFSTED Inspection. Finally requiring children to attend regularly and punctually sends a very strong message to them about the importance of school. The school has very high standards in many areas of its life and work. The purpose of this policy is to bring standards of attendance in line with those other areas.