Attendance

Health & Welfare

As parents, carers, teachers, support staff or governors, we take our role in ensuring the wellbeing of every child in our care very seriously. Staff are trained in first aid and we have a school nurse who visits regularly.

The best place for a sick child is at home in bed. Children who have had an accident or are taken ill at school are seen by members of staff who are qualified first-aiders. If it is thought that a child needs further medical help or is unfit to be in school, parents are notified immediately. If necessary the school will call an ambulance or take a child to the medical practitioners if the incident involves something like a very bad cut. Parents will then be asked to collect from the medical practice.

Any medication which has to be administered during school hours must be clearly labelled and taken to the school office, where they will be given by a member of staff at lunchtime. There is a form to fill in to ensure that the correct information is available to all staff.

It is vital that parents fill in and return to us the ‘contact’ form, which provides us with an up-to-date home address and telephone number and also details of where they can be contacted when at work. You should also nominate someone else as a contact if there are times when you are unavailable.

Attendance and punctuality

You must ensure that your child arrives at school at the correct time. Children who are persistently late or who have poor attendance records do not achieve as well as other children.

All children start the day’s activities as soon as they enter the classroom in an early work session to ensure that not a moment of the day is wasted. Just five minutes lateness every day means two hours missed learning time a month.

If your child is late you must go to the office yourself to sign the late book and inform the school administrative officer that your child has arrived, so that our registers are correct and your child can be booked in for lunch.

If your child is absent from school for any reason it is essential that you provide us with an adequate explanation by phone, followed by a written note. Otherwise the absence will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’. We are required to publish details of absences, including unauthorised and this reflects on the school with Ofsted, so we do follow the rules and follow up to ensure as close to full attendance as possible.

Absences for reasons other than illness are not normally permitted except in very special circumstances which must be authorised by the Headteacher. In line with national policy, holidays or extended leave during term time are not permitted, other than in exceptional circumstances and could result in a fixed penalty notice being issued.

Valid reasons for having time off school

  • Serious sickness (more than a sniffle or a cold)
  • Close family funeral
  • Hospital treatment
  • Emergency dental treatment 

Unacceptable reasons for not coming to school

  • Going to the dentist (please plan well ahead and make appointments during holiday times or after school)
  • Hairdressers
  • Shopping
  • Birthday
  • Got up late
  • Didn’t have a clean uniform
  • Brother, sister or parent unwell
  • Late night

Supervision of children after school

Staff are unable to accept responsibility for children in school or in the school groups after 3.30pm unless they are attending out-of-hours activities or special arrangements have been made.

At Thurton Primary School, we feel that regular school attendance is considered to be of great importance. If a child is not present at school they cannot learnt what we have prepared for them or reach their full potential.

We therefore aim to have the maximum attendance rates possible for our pupils. There will, of course, be just and valid reasons why pupils cannot attend school on occasions, but we have systems in place to monitor and investigate absences across the school. The percentage of attendance is reported to parents in the termly school report, so parents can track over time.

It is important to school that attendance is over 96% and any child with attendance below this rate will be tracked over time, to ensure that attendance improves. Every day a child misses from school is learning time missed.

Term Time Holiday

Attendance at school and legal intervention

Research commissioned by the Department for Education shows missing school for even a day can mean a child is less likely to achieve good grades, which can have a damaging effect on their life chances.  The Government remains very clear that no child should miss school apart from in exceptional circumstances and schools must to continue take steps to reduce absence to support children’s attainment.

The Local Authority operates a system where any pupil will meet the criteria for legal intervention where they have:

  1. 10 consecutive sessions of unauthorised absence where some or all of the absence may be attributed to an unauthorised holiday in term-time (for absences from 1 September 2017); or
  2. 15% unauthorised absence over a period of 6 school weeks for reasons other than unauthorised term time holiday.

The intervention could be in the form of a Fixed Penalty Notice. Any pupil at Thurton Primary Church of England Primary School who meets either of the criteria, will be referred to the Local Authority for action to be considered.

If a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued it is a fine of £60 per parent per child which must be paid in one payment in 21 days.  If unpaid, a further invoice for £60 per parent per child is issued; both individual invoices would then have to be paid making a total payment of £120 in 28 days. You should be aware that failure to pay the total amount within the timescale will result in legal action being taken.

Please see the attached leaflet, ‘Attendance Matters’ for Thurton and all the schools in the Loddon Cluster.