At Menheniot Primary School we consider that good attendance is essential to good progress and to a child fulfilling their full potential. Missing out on lessons leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school. If a pupil misses one day a week for their entire school career they would lose the equivalent of two school years. The time missed at school can lead to gaps in knowledge that become difficult to fill.
We aim to raise levels of attendance through:
-promoting a welcoming and positive learning environment in which all children will feel safe and secure
-raising awareness of the importance of good attendance and punctuality
-monitoring attendance regularly and recording the reasons for absence accurately
-liaising with the County Educational Welfare Officer regarding unauthorised absences or high absence rates
-rewarding excellent and very good attendance through certificates
It is a legal requirement that children attend school and a parental responsibility to ensure that they do so.
There are times, however, when children are too ill to attend. It is important that the school office is informed of the reason for their absence as soon as possible, preferably before school begins. In these situations the absence will be marked as authorised. We ask that all medical appointments are taken out of school hours if possible but we are aware that this is not always possible. In such circumstances where the medical appointment is essential, this is likely to be authorised. In some situations we may request doctor's notes or evidence of medical appointments.
Attendance data for each individual falls into the following categories:
96% - 100%
90% - 95%
Requires Improvement and as such, attendance is closely monitored.
Serious Concerns and referral to the Educational Welfare Officer
Children whose attendance falls below 90% are categorised by the Government as Persistent Absentees. At 90% your child is currently absent from school for an average of half a day per week. This level of absence will clearly cause considerable damage to your child's education.
We are aware that children may feel anxious about returning to school after a period of extended illness. In these situations please liaise with the class teacher, who will work with you to address any issues or worries.
Absences for birthdays, shopping or long weekends aren’t permitted. Holidays in term time are not authorised by the school except in exceptional circumstances and these are very unlikely to be authorised during September, assessment and testing periods or where there are any unauthorised absences or the rate of absence is already below good. We ask that anyone requesting an absence due to exceptional circumstances, puts their request in writing with clear reasons as to why it is considered exceptional.
Absences that have not been agreed and authorised by the school will be referred to the County Educational Welfare Officer and these may result in prosecution.