Attendance Procedures at Woodmansterne Primary School
These procedures should be read in conjunction with the school’s Attendance Policy.
All attendance is recorded and monitored.
Excellent attendance leads to greater progress and attainment. Woodmansterne Primary School aims for 100% attendance for all pupils. 90% sounds like a good attendance figure but actually that child is missing a day’s learning every two weeks. Pupils with attendance below 90% are considered to be ‘persistent absentees’ by the government and schools are expected to have a strong focus on working to improve those pupils’ attendance.
Equivalent school days missed
One day every 4 weeks
One day a fortnight
Three days every month
A day a week
Work with us: We know that most pupil absence is unavoidable and that most parents want their child to be in school and on time as much as we do. Where there are issues at home or with your child that may affect their attendance, we encourage open and honest conversations so that we can support you and your child.
Attendance interventions: Where your child’s attendance drops below certain levels, the school has a range of interventions. At any stage, we may ask to meet with you to explore the reasons behind the drop in attendance. Interventions include:
Between 90-95%: Internal monitoring with escalation if necessary
Below 90%: “Persistent Absentee”. Checked and monitored by the council’s Inclusion Officer (formerly called Education Welfare Officer). Letter of concern sent to parents unless there are extenuating circumstances such as the child has had a major operation or has a serious medical condition.
- If attendance does not improve to above 90% within the review period: Letter requiring medical evidence will be sent to parents. No further absence due to illness with be authorised without appropriate evidence.
- If attendance does not improve to above 90% within the review period: Referral to the Inclusion Officer at Surrey County Council. The Inclusion Officer can issue Fixed Penalty warnings and notices (fines) and can prosecute parents if attendance levels do not sufficiently improve.
Patterns of attendance: The school also monitors patterns of attendance and will liaise with parents or could require medical evidence where absences cause concern. These could include but are not limited to:
- Children frequently reported as ill on certain days, for example, often off on Mondays;
- Children reported as ill on days just before or just after school holidays;
- Children reported as ill on days either side of term time holidays;
- Children frequently absent on days when they are in the care of one parent where this is not seen with the other parent
Safeguarding concerns: Poor attendance can sometimes be an indicator of, or symptom of safeguarding issues. In these situations, and on a case-by-case basis, the school will explore the attendance concerns with the parent and where appropriate will liaise with other agencies to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the pupil.
Children joining from other schools: If a child joins Woodmansterne with a history of low attendance at their previous school, the Attendance Officer will liaise with the previous setting for a full handover and meet with the parents to explore the reasons behind the history of low attendance and make the school’s expectations clear.
Children with medical conditions: The school is experienced in dealing with children with common illnesses and conditions such as asthma. If well-managed, they generally do not lead to concerning levels of absence. If the conditions are leading to low attendance it may suggest that they are not well-managed and that a review with the appropriate health professional is required, for example a review with the GP, asthma nurse or meeting with the school nurse. We will contact parents if we have concerns in these circumstances.
Punctuality: Children arriving late at school miss out on learning and can disrupt the class. Even relatively small amounts of learning missed adds up over time and this will impact on your child’s progress in school. Some children also find it very unsettling or upsetting to arrive late and so are not in the best frame of mind to learn. Children need to be inside, coats off, ready for registration at 9am. The school is open from 8.45am and we encourage parents to drop off as close to this as possible to ensure their child is not late.
Where there are concerns about punctuality, the school has a range of strategies including:
- Sending a formal ‘letter of concern’ to parents;
- Meeting with parents to explore the reasons for the lateness;
- Arranging a meeting between the class teacher and parents to explain the impact on the pupil and their class;
- Parents meeting with the council’s Inclusion Officer.