Important updates to our Attendance Policy in effect from September 2023
The Winns Primary School is committed to supporting good attendance for all of our pupils. This is not only because it is the law, but because good attendance helps your child to get the very best from their education. The local authority may issue a Fixed Penalty Notice if your child does not attend school regularly.
When they are used?
When a pupil has a minimum of 10 sessions recorded unauthorized in a 6 school week period: a school day is two sessions AM and PM. This includes any absence marked in the register as unauthorised. Persistent late arrival at school after the register has been taken and is also recorded as unauthorized by the head teacher.
How much is the penalty?
£120 per parent per child. This is reduced to £60 if paid within 21 days.
What happens if I don’t pay?
The authority may consider instigating a prosecution in the Magistrates court for the offence of poor school attendance.
Remember, for absences other than unauthorized holidays in term time, school would much rather work with parents/carers to resolve attendance issues.
When leaving a voice message for an absence please can you provide a reason – Saying ‘not well’ is not sufficient.
Why it is important to attend school regularly?
- To give your child the best possible start in life.
- They will be able to keep up with their work.
- They will achieve better results.
- They will develop friendships and social skills.
Attendance and punctuality are important for The Winns Primary as we believe this plays a key role in raising overall pupil attainment. Good attendance and punctuality are clearly linked to children making good progress in their learning. The government has set a target of 96% attendance for all pupils. This rate allows for periods of illness or particular circumstances when absence from schools is unavoidable. We want your child to attend school regularly as this supports their learning. If your child is not well or if you have a planned reason why your child cannot attend school, please inform the school at the earliest opportunity.
Children of compulsory school age must, by law, receive a full-time education.
Each person with day to day parental responsibility could be taken to court and fined for each child who is not attending school regularly or who is persistently late.
The Education Act 1996 states that all pupils should attend school regularly and punctually. ‘If a child of compulsory school age, who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, his parent is guilty of an offence.’
Some key attendance facts:
- Attending 90% of the time or less will have a serious effect on learning.
- One day’s absence every two weeks will give 90% attendance.
- Up to the age of 16, 90% attendance will mean losing over a year of school – more than half
Arrival at School
The school gates will open at 8.50 am. Your child should be in school by 8:55 am for the start of the school day.
The school gates will close at 9:00 am and if you arrive after 9.00 am you must enter the school via the school office.
If a child arrives between 9:00 am and 9:15 am he or she will be marked late (L) in the Register. If a child arrives after 9:15 am he or she will be marked as an unauthorised absence (U) in the Register. This code is classed as unauthorised absence but displays that the pupil was physically present in school for part of the session. If a child is persistently late after the registers close on 12 occasions in a term you could receive a fixed penalty notice.
Remember that persistent lateness can be legally counted as unauthorised absence.
Persistent lateness can:
- Cause embarrassment to the child.
- Make it harder for the child to settle.
- Cause disruption to the rest of the class.
The school operates a First Day Response and will telephone families where children have failed to attend school in time for morning registration.
Parents should complete the online form to report an absence. This online form can be found on the school website.
The form should be completed before 8:30am
If parents do not have access to the online form, they should contact the school by telephone on 0208 527 1872. Keep the school informed if the absence is to continue.
Authorised and Unauthorised Absence
The school can only authorise any absences in the following circumstances:
- Genuine illness
- Dental/medical appointments (these should be made out of school hours where possible)
- Close Family bereavement
- Recognised religious observance
What is NOT acceptable?
- Caring for a parent or sibling
- Going shopping
- Day trips
- Bad weather
- Family holidays will not be authorised
This is not a conclusive list.
If you wish your child to be absent from school for any exceptional circumstances please complete a Leave of Absence Form which will be reviewed by the Headteacher.
This should be done at the earliest possible opportunity and with at least 2 weeks’ notice. Please note that the Headteacher has the right to refuse your request for leave of absence.
Absence of Leave Request form
Where possible, organise authorised absences well in advance.
Please try to arrange medical appointments during holiday times or out of school hours.
If you cannot make doctor or dentist appointments out of school hours, wherever possible the child should come to school before the appointment and return to school afterwards.
Please provide an appointment letter or a written explanation beforehand.
If you wish to take your child out of school for a religious observance please ensure you complete an ‘Absence of Leave’ request form and hand it to the school office. inform the school.
Family holidays must not be taken during the school term. The guidelines from the London Borough of Waltham Forest states that under no circumstances should schools authorise absence for holidays or other circumstances on the grounds of cost.
If you take your child on holiday without authorisation, the Local Education Authority has the power to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice of £60 per parent per child, rising to £120 if not paid within 28 days. Failure to pay can result in a criminal record and a fine of up to £1000.