Attendance and Holidays
The Importance of School Attendance
Pippins has high expectations for every child from the moment they join our school. Children have the right to a high quality education and we provide this at Pippins. High attendance is necessary to ensure that your child benefits fully from the learning opportunities on offer.
Why is it so important that my child attends school regularly?
Children who attend school regularly will achieve their full potential. Not only does school provide high quality learning experiences to enrich children’s lives, but we also provide numerous opportunities for children to develop social skills and to grow into well-rounded individuals. Good attendance means children will benefit greatly from these aspects of school life.
However, children with poor attendance tend to achieve less in both primary and secondary school. Missing school leaves children vulnerable to falling behind. Not only does this affect academic attainment, but children with poor attendance can often feel left out, find it hard to make and keep friends, feel insecure and lack confidence. Their overall attitude to learning can be inhibited; behavioural problems may develop and health and wellbeing may be affected. If poor attendance continues, children can find it harder to secure a job in later life.
Celebrating Good Attendance
We love to celebrate good attendance at Pippins and have different incentives and recognition systems in place. ‘Pips’, our school’s attendance bear, travels around the classes spending the week with the school’s best attending class. Termly attendance celebration assemblies take place where the children love to receive stickers, pencils, certificates, medals! Weekly attendance certificates can be found in classrooms.
Parents have a legal responsibility to provide an education for their child. It is an offence not to have your child attend school regularly. Your child must attend the whole school day, every day, on time and be ready to learn unless the absence is completely unavoidable. The national average attendance for a child in Britain is 96.5%. Pippins expects attendance of at least 97%. Attendance falling below 95% is therefore cause for concern. Absence of under 90% falls into the category of ‘persistent absenteeism’ and is referred to the Local Authority with possible warnings, fines, parental orders and court action applied. The school will do its best to support families to prevent action being taken this far.
School Attendance Regulations
From September 2013, changes come into effect about granting “authorised absence” from school for holidays in term time. The amendments make clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.
Amendments have also been made in the timescale for paying attendance penalty notices. From 1 September 2013, parents must pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. This brings attendance penalty notices into line with other types of penalty notices and allows local authorities to act faster on prosecutions.
If your child is absent from school, please phone the School Office 01753 682937 and leave a message or speak to the Office Staff, preferably before 9am. Please also send in written confirmation with your child on their return. A phone call will be made, if we do not hear from you on the first day of absence.
Any illness that requires home rest and in general is not treated by prescribed medication will be authorised on a ‘day by day basis’ to the 'maximum' of two days only. On the third day of illness, parents must take their child to be medically assessed. Supporting evidence will be required in order to authorise from this point.
Parents who have a child diagnosed with a contagious disease should alert the school as soon as possible.
Children with an existing medical condition previously recorded by school still have to follow the same attendance criteria.
If your child is suffering from sickness and diahorea, then they should be kept at home for 48 hours after the symptoms has cleared to prevent cross-infection.
Medical consent forms can be obtained from the school office to enable staff to administer medication during school hours.
Appointments, where possible, should be made outside of school hours or in the holiday period. This includes routine dentist appointments. If this is unavoidable, your child should still attend school before/after the appointment where possible. Any session missed that was deemed reasonable to attend will be marked as unauthorised leave. Any sibling should attend school as normal. Emergency doctor/dentist appointments will be authorised with supporting evidence. All referred clinic/hospital appointments must be made in advance and be supported by an appointment letter in order to authorise any missed sessions. We understand that it can be hard to obtain medical evidence on occasion.
Medical evidence, when requested, should be provided in one of the following ways: - text, email, letter or by a phone voice mail message. Parents can also present a prescription, medical paper work or an appointment card/letter at the school office upon their return. If evidence is not received during the week of the missed session/s or is deemed insufficient, the leave in question may be recorded as unauthorised.
Extended Leave - this is not a parental right.
Understand your child’s attendance percentage - what does it really mean?
- 90% Attendance = ½ a day of school missed each week.
- Over a whole school year, this would equate to 4 weeks of missed school.
- Extended to 5 years, this would mean your child would have missed ½ a year of school.
- Research from the Department for Education shows the following:
- Children with no absence are more than 50% more likely to achieve the expected standard by the end of primary school.
- The same children are 5 times more likely to achieve the higher standard by the end of primary school.
Encourage your child to achieve great attendance!
Normal school holidays can be found by either viewing our calendar or by looking at one of our regular newsletters where holiday details are enclosed.
Due to recent changes in National Government legislation - no holidays can be authorised during normal school term times, and taking your child out during this time will mark them as an unauthorised absence and you may also be liable for a fine.
Extreme Weather Conditions
In the event of any extreme weather conditions it is important to check the school website, twitter, Facebook Page, local radio stations, or Slough Website. School will send out notifications.