Attendance Advice for Parents & Carers
At Aston-on-Trent Primary School, we expect high levels of attendance from all children. The law states all children who are registered at a school must attend regularly.
As a result, we have policies and procedures in place to monitor, follow up and take action on attendance issues.
Our attendance is reported to the local authority and the DfE.
Why is attendance so important?
Being in school every day that it is open, is important to your child’s achievement, wellbeing, and their wider development.
Here’s what the data shows:
- Pupils with higher attainment at KS2 and KS4 had lower levels of absence over the key stage compared to those with lower attainment.
- Pupils who did not achieve the expected standard in reading, writing and maths in 2019 had an overall absence rate of 4.7% over the key stage, compared with 3.5% among pupils who achieved the expected standard and 2.7% among those who achieved the higher standard.
- Generally, the higher the percentage of sessions missed across the key stage at KS2 and KS4, the lower the level of attainment at the end of the key stage.
- Among pupils with no missed sessions over KS2, 83.9% achieved the expected standard compared to 40.2% of pupils who were persistently absent.
(Source - DfE Education Hub Blog)
Reporting a child absent due to illness
You must inform school by 9am wherever possible of your child’s absence. You can do this by calling school on 01332 799478 and selecting option 1, emailing us at email@example.com or completing the online form here-
Is my child too ill to attend school?
It can be tricky to decide if your child is too ill to attend school. Here is a useful guide to help you.
The law set out by the government, and implimented by the department for education, means that schools must monitor and check your child’s attendance on a frequent basis. You will receive a letter from school if your child is frequently late. We always work with parents/carers to help improve attendance and punctuality. Please talk to us at school if there is a reason for persistent absence you wish to discuss (for example, your child has a long term health condition).
The procedure for low attendance is as follows. Please read it carefully.
1) Where attendance has fallen below 95%-90% the head teacher or class teacher may contact parents to discuss reasons for absence.
2) Where attendance has fallen below 90% parents/carers will be contacted through message, and may have a telephone discussion or a meeting with the headteacher. We may discuss how we can work together to set targets and offer support.
Following this, a letter will be also sent to parents/carers, outlining the legal action we can take as a school if attendance does not improve. A referral to the Early Help Team may also be made. If your child has been off ill, this does count as an authorised absence but we still do monitor absences and a referral to the early help team made. You will also still receive monitoring letters and the local authority will still be made aware.
3) If attendance does not improve by the agreed review date, legal action may be taken as per the letter sent in stage 2 (above)
THIS PROCEDURE FOLLOWS LEGAL REQUIREMENTS SET OUT BY THE DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION.
Q- My child is not yet 5. Can I still receive a letter?
A- When you accept a Reception class place at our school for your child, you are required to agree ensure they attend regularly. For children under compulsory school age (5 years 0 months), we will still engage in monitoring and work with parents. You will still receive a letter outlined in 2) above, but this cannot be sent for legal action (including a fine) until their 5th birthday.
Q- Do I have to give proof of my child’s sickness or our holiday?
A- As a school, we also have the authority to challenge parents/carers if we have the reason to believe the reason given for absence is false. (For example, you have reported a child is absent due to illness, but in fact they were on holiday) We also reserve the right to ask for evidence (i.e prescriptions or appointment letter)
Q- Can I be fined if my child’s attendance falls below 90%?
A- Yes. If your child’s attendance does not improve, then school have the powers to refer your case to Derbyshire County Council for consideration of legal action. This may result in:
- A Penalty Notice payable up to £120 fine per child.
- Prosecution under s444 (1) Education Act 1996 where, if convicted, you may be fined up to £1000.
- Prosecution under s444 (1a) Education Act 1996 where, if convicted, you may be fined up to £2500 and/or a community order or imprisonment.
Leave of Absence
When a child can have a day off school
The headteacher at your child’s school is responsible for authorising any absences.
A child can have a day off school:
- if the child is ill and unable to attend school for a medical reason you must provide evidence
- in exceptional circumstances such as the death of an immediate family member or to attend a funeral.
Please complete the leave of absence application form here-
Who authorises absence?
Headteachers are responsible for authorising absences under the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 1995.
As a parent or carer, you cannot authorise absences and must contact your child's school as soon as possible if they become ill. You will need written notification with the reason your child was absent when they return to school.
The school must investigate all cases of pupils with high levels of absence.
If an absence is not authorised
If the headteacher does not authorise the absence it will be recorded as unauthorised on your child’s attendance record.
The school will have to make a referral to the local authority if your child has more than 10 sessions (five school days) of unauthorised absence.
If this is the case, legal action could be taken and could result in either:
- prosecution under Section 4441/4441A of The Education Act 1996
- a penalty notice which would need to be paid by each parent for each child. If you fail to pay this you will be prosecuted.
Can I take my child on holiday during term time?
Parents should plan their holidays around school breaks and avoid requesting leaves of absence for holidays unless it is unavoidable.
As leave of absence is only granted in exceptional circumstances, it is unlikely that your child’s headteacher will agree a leave of absence for a family holiday.
If permission is refused and you keep your child off school on the days requested, you are likely to be committing an offence and be issued a fixed penalty notice or be prosecuted by your local authority.