Every Lesson Counts... A guide to School Attendance

At Hadenham Community Infant School it is important that children come to school regularly and on time.  Children are not allowed time off from school to go on day trips or holidays.  If parents do request time off for such events they will be unauthorised by the school.

Every child has the right to receive a full education

  • Children can only make the most of educational opportunities if they attend regularly and on time
  • Lessons lost will never be found
  • 95% attendance or below is a cause for concern
  • It is not a parental right to take a child out of school for a holiday

What does school do?

  • Provides 190 days of planned curriculum delivery- not a day should be missed
  • Listens and supports
  • Liaises with the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO)
  • Reports levels of school attendance to the Local Authority (Bucks CC), the DFE and Ofsted
  • Monitors attendance 
  • Reports a child's attendance, at least annually,to parents
  • Informs parents of their child's unacceptable absence and invites parents to a meeting to discuss any issues

Alerts the EWO to unacceptable patterns of absence where home/school contact has not improved the attendance

The following reasons for absence wil not be authorised

  • looking after the house or other family members
  • Illness of another family member, ie pupil kept off school while a sibling or parent is unwell
  • Shopping during school hours or da trips
  • Birthdays
  • Holidays

Most common acceptable reasons for absence include;

  • Illness of the child
  • An emergency medical or dental appointment that has not been possible in out of school hours
  • A religious event

Anyone wishing to take their child out of school on compassionate grounds should write to the school or ask for a Leave of Absence form requesting permission from the governors and explaining the situation.  You will then receive a letter from the Chair of Governors confirming their decision.

Parental Responsibility

Education Act 1996, Part VI, Chapter 11, Section 444:

"If a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a schoo fails to regularly attend the school, his/her parent is guilty of an offence."

In cases where a child persistently misses school and parents are awareof the situation but have been unable to provide a reasonable explanation to the school for absence, the parents may be prosecuted in the Magistrates Court.

What does the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) do?

  • Monitors attendance, particularly when it dips below 90%
  • Works with the school and parents to resolve a child's attendance problems
  • Telephones, writes or visits your home when necessary

What can you do to help?

  • Report the absence of your child as early as possible on the first day of absence via a telephone call or email
  • Ensure your child is in school for registration- don't let him/her miss out on the first part of the day as it takes them longer to settle into their learning
  • Arrange a meeting after school if you need to speak to the class teacher
  • Do not take holidays during term time
  • Do not allow your child time away from school unless it is absolutely necessary
  • Encourage a pattern of punctuality and good attendance with your child- let him/her see that it matters
  • When one of your children is off school, make sure you get the others into school- ask a friend to take them in and check to ensure they have arrived safely
  • Take notice of how much time your child has been away from school
  • Let school know if you are about to leave the area, change your address or any of your contact numbers- ensure we always have up-to-date contact information

What if your child is absent?

In school, learning builds over the week for example each Literacy lesson leads into the Literacy lesson on the following day.  All lessons have an input which lasts for up to 20 minutes then the children consolidate their learning through activities.  We pride ourselves on providing 'hands on' learning opportunities for all our children.  Therefore we plan practical activities for the children to explore learning- the children do not just complete worksheets.

If your child is absent for one day then the teacher sets aside time to 'catch p' the work from the previous lesson.  This may mean that other pupils do not get the support they need.  Therefore, if your child is absent for several days, this work can not be caught up.

Due to the way the curriculum is designed the children cover a lot of learning over a week.  Absent children may miss units of a particular area, eg shape.  This may not be revisited for another half term.

What if???

  • Your child misses 10 days of school (20 sessions) through illness or a holiday then they already only have 95% attendance
  • Your child misses 20 days of school (40 sessions) through illness or a holiday then that is only 89% attendance- the equivalent of half a day off per week for a whole year
  • Your child misses 38 days of school (76 sessions) through illness or a holiday then that is 80% attendance- the equivalent of a day off a week for the whole year

What if your child is late?

  • He/she may feel self-conscious
  • He/she may miss registration which may result in an absent mark (an unauthorised absence) to the learning from the teacher
  • He/she will be 'catching up' for the rest of the lesson
  • He/she misses the social part of the beginning of the day
  • He/she may be reluctant or refuse to go into the classroom
  • He/she may cause disruption to the other class members