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. At Thurton C of E Primary School our aim is to work with parents to ensure that all our pupils receive the most from their education and reach their full potential.

We would like to remind all parents/carers regarding the law that requires them to ensure that their child attends school regularly. The Government remains very clear that no child should miss school apart from in exceptional circumstances and schools must continue to take steps to reduce absence to support children’s attainment.

In the DfE policy document entitled, ‘School Attendance: Guidance for maintained schools, academies, independent schools and local authorities’ it states, ‘Head teachers should not grant leave of absence unless there are exceptional circumstances. The application must be made in advance and the head teacher must be satisfied that there are  exceptional circumstances based on the individual facts and circumstances of the case which warrant the leave. Where a leave of absence is granted, the head teacher will determine the number of days a pupil can be away from school. A leave of absence is granted entirely at the head teacher’s discretion’.

If the school does not receive a request for leave, the head teacher will be unable to consider your individual circumstances and the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. There will be no obligation on the head teacher to reconsider authorising the leave if an application has not been made in advance.

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

  • at least 9 sessions (4.5 school days) lost to unauthorised absence by the pupil during the last 6 school weeks

The intervention could be in the form of a fixed penalty notice. Any pupil at Thurton C of E Primary School who meets the criteria, will be referred to the Local Authority for action to be considered.
If a fixed penalty notice is issued the arrangement for th e payment will be detailed on the penalty notice. The penalty is £60 if paid within 21 days of receipt of the notice, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days of the receipt of the notice. The fixed penalty notice is per parent per child. You should be aware that failure to pay the total amount within the timescale will result in legal action being taken.

A copy of our Absence Request form can be downloaded here.