Attendance / Reporting Absence
ATTENDANCE AT LINDEN - A GUIDE FOR PARENTS
When does my child need to be in School?
Regular attendance is fundamental to the future success of children. We expect pupils to be in school for every session of the school day and for every day that the school is open to pupils. Your child should be at school by 9am but not before 8.45am, unless they are attending breakfast club, to be ready to go into class at 8.45am. The register is taken twice a day. Morning registration is at 9am. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of term dates.
What happens if my child is late?
Any pupils that arrive after 9.00am have to enter the school through the main entrance.
If a child arrives after the gates are locked they will receive an ‘L’ code up until 9.30am. If a child arrives after 9.30am they will receive a ‘U’ code. This is considered an unauthorised absence.
The school may consider referring to Gloucestershire Council for legal action (see legal sanctions information section) if there are a series of unauthorised late marks and parents fails to engage with guidance and support.
What happens if I am late collecting my child?
The School expects prompt collection of all children at the end of the school day (3.10pm Infants and 3.15pm Juniors). However, we do appreciate that unforeseen circumstances (e.g. traffic, illness) may occur from time to time. We would ask parents to advise school as soon as possible if this happens, by phoning 01452 527 020. The school closely monitors late collections. Pupils who remain uncollected after 3.30pm will be admitted into After-School Care whilst their parents are contacted to collect them. The parent / carer will incur a £5.00 non-booking fee per child in addition to the session charge. If this persistently happens, we will initially meet with you to discuss this. If no improvement is seen, this may result in a charge for child care.
Does the School need letters explaining my child’s absence, or will a phone call do?
We expect parents to notify the school every morning of absence by 9.30am, unless the length of absence is known in advance. We will contact you if your child has not arrived in school by 9.30am and no message has been left. If we do not receive an explanation, or if the explanation is unsatisfactory, we will not authorise the absence. You may leave a telephone message 01452 527020) or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
If there is a problem with a pupil’s attendance, the parents or carers will be informed of the school’s concerns and will be encouraged to keep absences to a minimum. The school will always work with parents and carers and pupils to try to remedy the problem.
Do all parents, partners and carers have a legal responsibility to secure a child’s education?
Yes, all adults, parents and carers have a legal responsibility including absent parents.
DEFINITION OF A PARENT Section 576 of the Education Act 1996 defines 'parent' as
- All natural parents, whether they are married or not
- Any person who, although not a natural parent, has parental responsibility for a child or young person
- Any person who, although not a natural parent, has care of a child or young person (having care of a child or young person means that a person with whom the child lives and who looks after the child, irrespective of what their relationship is with the child, is considered to be a parent in education law).
An accumulation of unauthorised absences will lead to a referral to Gloucestershire Council which may result in legal proceedings.
What reasons will the school accept for absences?
- Illness. However persistent illness without medical evidence will not be authorised: Parents will be expected to provide evidence, so school are able to consider if the absence is to be authorised or unauthorised. Medical evidence can be provided by proof of GP appointment, proof of prescribed medication or a letter from the GP stating that they were required to be absent from school.
- Emergency dental/medical appointment. (Please make routine appointments after school or during the holidays), appointment cards will be required.
- Family holidays in exceptional circumstances and only if authorised in advance by the Head teacher in line with the school attendance policy.
Except in the case of illness, you should ask for permission for your child to miss school well in advance, giving full details. In cases of recurring absences through illness you may be asked to produce medical evidence as stated previously.
What is unacceptable?
The school will not authorise absences other than those in exceptional circumstances. Family holidays, day trips, shopping or birthdays are not classed as exceptional.
Can we take family holidays during term-time?
Family holidays should only be taken during school holidays.
The headteacher will only grant a leave of absence to a pupil during term time if they consider there to be 'exceptional circumstances'. A leave of absence is granted at the headteacher’s discretion, including the length of time the pupil is authorised to be absent for. Where a holiday in term time is granted, the Head teacher will determine the number of days a pupil can be away from school. Any absences incurred prior to and following the request dates will be coded as unauthorised unless supported by evidence. If an unauthorised holiday is taken during term time a request will be made to Gloucestershire Council who will consider the facts and pursue legal action.
We define ‘exceptional circumstances’ as one off events which are unavoidable.
What can I do to encourage my child to attend School?
Make sure your child gets enough sleep and gets up in plenty of time each morning. Ensure that he / she leaves home in the correct clothes and properly equipped. Show your child, by your interest, that you value his / her education.
My child is trying to avoid coming to School. What should I do?
Contact your child’s teacher or a member of the inclusion team for support immediately and openly discuss your worries. Your child could be avoiding school for a number of reasons – difficulties with schoolwork, bullying, friendship problems, family difficulties. It is important that we identify the reason for your child’s reluctance to attend school and work together to tackle the problem.
Children Moving Schools
It is important to communicate with school should you wish to transfer your child to a different school. When pupils leave the school and no information has been received by the school regarding their new placement and parents/carers are unable to be contacted, the school has a duty of care regarding safeguarding and must contact the Local Authority. The child will be classed as ‘Children who are absent from education for prolonged periods and/or repeated occasions’. This means that Gloucestershire Council has a legal duty to investigate, which will include liaising with Social Services, the Police and other agencies, to try to track and locate the child. By giving the school details of the child’s new school and location, unnecessary investigations can be avoided.
Important Contact Information
It is paramount that parent/carers keep school updated with all new contact details of change of address and landline or mobile telephone numbers. If you start a new job and have a work contact number, please let us know immediately. This is to ensure we can contact you in an emergency.
Can my child work during term time?
Children cannot work under the age of 13 unless they hold a performance licence. During term time children can only work a maximum of 12 hours a week. This includes:
- a maximum of 2 hours on school days and Sundays
- a maximum of 5 hours on Saturdays for 13 to 14-year-olds, or 8 hours for 15 to 16-year-olds
Businesses intending to employ children are required to apply for a child employment permit. The Local Authority may turn down a request for a permit if a child has a poor attendance record at school. Further details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/child-employment/minimum-ages-children-can-work.
For further information please ask to speak to Mrs Evans our Attendance Officer or Mrs Davidson our Deputy Head Teacher.