Attendance Policy (Pupils)
Our attendance policy is written to support our young people and their parents/carers to establish and achieve the highest possible levels of attendance at school. This is within the context of the Government legislation, parental legal responsibilities and our school targets. The establishment of a close home-school partnership is vital in working to achieve this.
In looking at attendance we take into consideration the range of complex needs of our young people which can for example make them more prone to illness and hospitalisation or to have high levels of emotional anxiety. It must be recognised that consistent attendance leads to effective learning and we therefore encourage full attendance wherever possible. It is in this context that the school attendance policy is written.
The school will:
Take an Attendance Register at the beginning of each morning (any amendments for the afternoon session will also be recorded) and will indicate whether an absence is authorised or unauthorised. This will be done by using the agreed Buckinghamshire coding system.
Authorised absence would usually be:
- when a pupil is prevented from attending by sickness or any unavoidable cause (e.g. when the school transport does not run)
- for religious observance related to the beliefs of the family e.g. Eid , Diwali
- absence previously agreed by the school for exceptional reasons under the agreed definition
Publish data about rates of attendance which can be accessed through our website and will be reported in pupil annual reports
Ensure that teachers discuss any concerns about a pupil’s attendance rate with the Head of Department so that, if necessary, appropriate action can be taken. This will include discussion with other professionals such as the school nurse or social worker where this is appropriate
Legislation relating to unauthorised absence is being more strictly applied and can result in the Local Authority imposing penalty fines on parents and carers. In the Vale Federation this would only be pursued in very extreme circumstances when there is no valid reason for the absence and all other avenues have been explored.
We ask parents/carers to :
- Ensure pupils are ready for their taxi or bring them to school in time for registration (Booker Park – 8.50am to 9.10am Stocklake Park – 9.10am to 9.25am)
- Let us know immediately by phone if their child is sick so that their absence is not recorded as unauthorised.
Requests for term time absence
The Department for Education states that
‘Amendments to the 2006 regulations remove references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments make clear that Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.’
After discussion with Governors the interpretation of the term ‘exceptional circumstance for our school will be as follows:
“An exceptional circumstance is of unique and significant emotional, educational or spiritual value to the child, which outweighs the loss of teaching time”
Parents/Carers must ensure that any request for taking their child out of school during term time is:
- made on the appropriate form – available from the school office or from the website
- made very clear on the form why this is an exceptional circumstance bearing in mind the definition of exceptional outlined above.
- made prior to the absence giving time for full consideration to be given to the request (it is recognised that there may be some circumstances where this is not possible)
All the circumstances will be carefully considered by the Principal in consultation with members of the Senior Leadership Team. The parents /Carers will be informed of the decision. It is advised that parents/carers only make arrangements, especially those involving costs, after the absence has been agreed.