Please click on this link below to download the Request for absence form:
Garway Primary School Attendance—extracts from Policy
Garway Primary School recognises the importance of every child accessing their right to education and the part that school attendance and punctuality plays in enabling pupils to achieve their maximum educational potential.
We believe our policy helps us all to keep pupils safe, healthy and able to participate in the life of the school and the local community, in turn supporting them to learn and achieve.
It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent absence from education as it can interrupt and damage a child’s learning. Absence can also disrupt teaching routines which may affect the learning of others in the same class.
It is parents’/carers’ legal responsibility to ensure a child receives education, and where a child has been enrolled in a school, they must ensure the child has regular attendance at school. It is important that parents/carers work with the school to discuss barriers to attendance as permitting absence from school without a good reason is an offence in law and may result in prosecution.
We use a whole school approach to promoting attendance and use a system of recognition and incentives to acknowledge the effort pupils make in achieving their best possible attendance and punctuality by celebrating and rewarding good and improving attendance.
We also follow Department of Education (DfE) Guidance and Best Practice in the removal of barriers to education, providing support to access education and, where required, as a last resort, we will use formal support and/or legal action to ensure attendance improves, which includes the use of Penalty Notices as a deterrent to absence during term time.
Good Attendance and Attendance Expectations:
Children should attend school every day that school is open for pupils to attend and only exceptional reasons would allow absence. Therefore, any non-attendance which is not deemed ‘exceptional’ will be recorded as unauthorised.
The expectation is that all pupils will aspire to achieve 100% attendance at school with a minimum of 96%, unless there are exceptional reasons for absence, which would then be discussed, explored, authorised and supported.
Registration & Punctuality:
Parents/carers are required to notify the school via phone or email of their child’s absence every morning of absence, giving the reason. If no message is received, for the purposes of keeping the child safe, it must be assumed that the child is on their way to school and if they do not arrive, the absence will be followed up with a telephone call by 9.30am.
Registers are taken twice during the school day; morning session and afternoon session. There is a legal requirement for pupils to attend registration sessions.
Pupils may generally enter the school site between 8.45 and 8:55 am. Morning registers are taken in class between 9:00 and 9:05. Afternoon registration takes place between 1:00 and 1:05.
Poor punctuality is not acceptable. Any pupil arriving after the end of the registration period in the morning will be marked as ‘unauthorised late’ and coded as ‘U’. A ‘U code’ constitutes an unauthorised absence for the whole session due to missing the legal registration period; legal action may be taken for continued U code absences.
Types of absence and persistent absence:
An Authorised absence may be for illness, medical/dental appointments (which unavoidably fall within the school day), emergencies or other exceptional cause. Reasons given for absence will be recorded.
The absence may not be authorised if there are ongoing attendance concerns, e.g. where absences for illness or other circumstances become frequent.
An Unauthorised absence is where it is not reasonable to be absent due to the reason given, or overall level of concern, and/or for which no “Term Time Absence Request" has been received.
This includes: parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily, truancy before or during the school day, unexplained absences, late arrival at school after registration has closed, shopping, looking after other children, birthdays, day trips, cheap holidays, shopping trips, visiting or being visited by family and friends, or absence that has no exceptional circumstance evident.
Unauthorised absence can lead to the school submitting evidence to the LA for financial penalties/sanctions and/or legal proceedings to be considered using the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE).
Persistent Absence (PA) is where a pupil misses 10% or more of their education within a specific period of time for whatever reason (authorised or unauthorised). Absence at this level may cause damage to the pupil’s educational prospects and parental support and co-operation is essential to ensure the pupil is supported to access their education. Any pupil that is at risk of moving towards the PA level is monitored carefully as absence affects attainment.
Requests for absence during school term
Parents/carers are required to complete a Term Time Absence Request Form in advance of planned absence taking place; we ask that this is at least three weeks’ prior to any absence being taken wherever possible, to enable the school to consider and respond to the request in writing. Parents must detail and evidence the exceptional circumstance of the request.
If the absence requested is refused the absence will be recorded as unauthorised. Where leave of absence is unauthorised, parents/carers will be notified in writing, and it will be dealt with in line with the LA’s Penalty Notice Code of Conduct and the Anti-Social Behaviour Act. If the absence is below the LA minimum number of days for legal action, a period of 30 days monitoring will be put in place, which could subsequently cause legal action to be considered. NB. Previous prosecution for absence or repeated unauthorised leave requests (e.g., annual/multiple requests for leave) may result in a prosecution instead of a fine; this is at the LA’s discretion.
Where leave of absence is stated as ‘for the purpose of religious observance’ Garway Primary School will follow the guidance from the local authority. As a rule, only one individual day, exclusively set aside by a religious body, will be accepted as a religious observance absence and there will be a maximum of three single days within a year that would be acceptable. Evidence from the religious body may be required.
The Term Time Absence Request Form is available to print from our school website or as an electronic or hard copy from the school office.