Attendance and Punctuality
At Maidensbridge we recognise the value of regular attendance at school. All children have the right to an education and we have appropriate procedures to support this. We believe that the most important factor in promoting good attendance is development of positive attitudes.
At Maidensbridge, the attendance pattern for all children is monitored weekly and we aim to work actively with parents to ensure a regular pattern is maintained. Good attendance promotes pupils well-being, maximises progress in learning and helps pupils reach their potential.
One of our basic principles is to celebrate success. Good attendance is fundamental to a successful and fulfilling school experience. It is our duty to promote 100% attendance for all children. For our children to take full advantage of the educational opportunities offered it is vital that our pupils are at school, on time, every day the school is open unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable.
Good attendance is important because:
- statistics show a direct link between under-achievement and absence below 95%
- regular attenders make better progress, both socially and academically
- regular attenders find school routines, school work and friendships easier to cope with
- regular attenders find learning more satisfying
- regular attenders are most successful in transferring between primary school, secondary school, higher education and employment or training
Regular attendance has been defined in law as meaning that a child must attend school every day. Unless your child cannot attend school due to an unavoidable cause or is too unwell to come to school, we expect your child to attend school every day, on time, on days when the school is open.
If a child misses one day of school each week (or the equivalent) every year, they will have lost an entire two years of schooling by the time they are 16. Each person with parental responsibility could be taken to court and fined for each child who is not attending school regularly or who is persistently late.
For families whose children are generally good at attending school, nothing is likely to happen if they miss a few days over the course of the year. If a child is repeatedly absent from school, a referral to the The Education Support Service (ESS) may be made. Should your child be absent for unauthorised reasons, you may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice by Dudley Council. This is a penalty of £120, payable for each of your children that have been absent from school for unauthorised reasons. The penalty is payable by each parent.
The ESS will work with schools and families to ensure that every school age child is receiving a suitable, full-time education by encouraging regular attendance at school (or ensuring they are being home educated). The expected level of attendance is at least 95%. Further information is available here.
School will identify any child as having 'persistent absence' (PA) issues. The Department for Education considers a child as having persistent absence if their attendance drops below 90 per cent - the equivalent of missing one day every fortnight. School may refer you to Early Help who may meet with a family to discuss their child's attendance issues.
You should not book a family holiday during term time. Whilst you may think this is beneficial, taking a holiday during term time means that children miss important school time and it will be difficult for them to catch up on work.
It is at the discretion of the head teacher and governors of the school which the child attends as to whether leave during term time is authorised. Head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. In this instance the head teacher will determine the length of time a child can be away from school. Please note leave is unlikely to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday.
If your child is going to be absent from school, please complete a form available from the school office. Please provide copies of medical or dentist appointment letters to support absence.
Being late to school can have a considerable impact over the whole school year.
- School starts at 8.45am.
- School register closes at 9.15am, children are classified as an 'unauthorised' unless evidence is provided for the school to authorise the lateness.
- If your child arrives between 8.45am and 8.55am they are marked as 'L/Late' and between 8.55am and 9.15am they are marked as U/Late Unauthorised.
- Being late for school makes it hard for your child to learn. If they are 30 minutes late each day, they miss half a day of learning a week.
- Being late means missing out on important learning, children don't have sufficient time to settle into class, it can be embarrassing for them and they disrupt the rest of the class.
If you have any concerns about your child's attendance, please do not hesitate to contact us.