At Coppetts Wood School, we aim to provide a high quality education in a safe, caring and disciplined environment so that all pupils are able to reach their full potential. An integral part of this is to develop in our pupils positive feelings about education and an awareness of, and responsible attitude to, the value of good attendance and punctuality.
- The Education Act 1996 states that all pupils should attend school regularly and punctually.
- It is important that all parents and children know that good attendance and punctuality is vital in ensuring educational progress.
- It is important that parents and staff are aware of their rights and responsibilities with regard to the attendance of pupils.
- To improve and maintain levels of attendance and punctuality.
- To minimise disruption to the learning environment caused by lateness and absence.
- Section 444 of the 1996 Education Act states that: “If a child of compulsory school age, who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, the parent is guilty of an offence.
- The school is obliged by law to differentiate between authorised and unauthorised absence. A letter or telephone message from a parent does not in itself authorise an absence. Only if the Head Teacher is satisfied as to the validity of the explanation offered by the letter or message will the absence be authorised.
Rights and Responsibilities
Improving attendance at Coppetts Wood School is the responsibility of everyone in the school community; parents, pupils and all staff.
- The Head Teacher will ensure that registers are kept accurately and that absence figures will be given to the DFE yearly.
- The Head Teacher will clarify authorised and unauthorised absences with the LM and Class Teacher if there is any doubt as to whether the reason for absence is justifiable.
- The Head Teacher will send appropriate letters to parents and carers if a pupil’s absence gives cause for concern.
- The Head Teacher will promote regular attendance at assemblies and with parents through parents evenings and for each new intake.
- The Head Teacher will consult with the Education Welfare Officer if, despite school action, a pupil’s attendance continues to give cause for concern.
Class Teacher / Learning Mentor
- The Class Teacher / LM will keep an accurate record of attendance and absence.
- The Class Teacher /LM will differentiate accurately between authorised and unauthorised absence.
- The Class Teacher / LM will monitor attendance and follow up unauthorised absences and target pupils for whom there are persistent absences.
- The Class Teacher / LM will encourage attendance and punctuality through the school reward system.
- The Class Teacher / LM will keep all absence letters for one year or longer if there are concerns.
- The Pastoral Manager will line manage the LM in all matters relating to attendance and punctuality.
- The Pastoral Manager will assist the LM in identifying and supporting families where there are poor patterns of attendance.
- The Pastoral Manager will ensure there are accurate attendance figures which are monitored regularly and liaise regularly with the Education Welfare Officer.
Education Welfare Officer
- The Education Welfare Officer will assist the school in identifying poor or potentially poor patterns of attendance.
- The Education Welfare Officer will advise the school on appropriate strategies to use with pupils and their families where school attendance is a matter of concern.
- The Education Welfare Officer will assist those families who are experiencing difficulties with school attendance.
- The Education Welfare Officer will support staff in the development of whole school approaches to maintain and develop excellent attendance and punctuality.
- Parents will ensure their children attend school regularly and on time.
- Parents will notify the school as soon as a pupil is absent through sickness or unavoidable cause.
- Parents will sign the Late Book if their child arrives after 9.05am and the Responsibility Book if they are collecting their child early.
- Parents will avoid making medical or dental appointments for their child during school hours.
- Parents will seek permission from the Head Teacher for leave of absence for their child – See Appendix 9 and 10.
- Parents will provide evidence to support an application for Leave of Absence or where there are persistent absences or any doubt as to whether the absence should be authorised.
- Pupils will be aware of the importance of regular attendance at school.
- Pupils will talk to a member of staff if there is anything which makes them feel unhappy at school and could reduce their willingness to attend.
Attendance - A Guide For Parents
- When does my child need to be in school?
Your child should be in the playground at 8.50am to line up and come into school at 8.55am. Registration is called at 9.00am and 1.30pm.
- What happens if my child is late?
Registration finishes at 9.05am. If your child arrives at school after 9.05am, they will be marked late.
If your child arrives at school after 9.15am, they will be marked as an unauthorised late (which counts as an unauthorised absence for the entire morning session).
Parents must sign the Late Book if their child is late, stating the time that they arrived and the reason they are late. The child will then be given a Late Card to give to their teacher so the teacher knows that they have signed the book – if they do not have this, they will be sent back to do so (making them even later in to class).
Children who have arrived late to school and not signed the Late Book pose a serious Health and Safety hazard, should there be a fire evacuation in school during the morning.
- What should I do if my child is absent?
We expect a parent to telephone the school on the first day of the child’s absence, explaining why the child is absent. Please note, this does not automatically mean the absence will be authorised. You may be required to provide evidence supporting your explanation of the absence before it is authorised and where evidence is insufficient, the absence may still be marked as unauthorised.
If we do not hear from you, we will:
- Make a phone call to the main contact number. A text message may also be sent.
- If there is no response, we will call emergency contacts to ascertain a reason.
- If there is still no response or nobody knows why the child is absent, you may receive a home visit from a member of staff
- We may also seek advice from Social Services or the police as your child will then be classed as ‘a missing child’. The police may carry out a welfare check
These procedures are to ensure that we know where your child is and that you are all safe. Please let us know in good time why your child is absent from school and let us know any changes in your contact numbers. You may want to let your emergency contacts know they may get a call from school.
What reasons for absence will the school accept?
- Genuine illness (not mild colds, coughs or tiredness – if you are in any doubt as to whether you should keep your child off,
contact school and we can advise you.)
- Emergency dental / medical appointments (routine appointments
should be made out of school hours).
- Day of religious absence.
- Family bereavement.
- Attending an interview for another school.
- Leave of Absence (only when prior approval has been given by the Head Teacher)
In cases of recurring absences, you will be asked to produce evidence supporting your explanation i.e. Dr’s note, Hospital appointment card etc. We can also seek permission to contact your doctor directly to prove that you have attended surgery.
- What reasons for absence are not acceptable?
The school will not authorise absence for day trips, birthdays, visiting relatives, tiredness due to a late night, mild colds and coughs etc.
- Will the school contact me if my child is absent?
The school operates a First Day Response system. If your child is absent and we have not received a phone call from you, we will contact you to establish why your child is absent. If we do not hear from you, we will follow the procedures outlined above.
If we are concerned about any aspect of your child’s attendance, we will contact you by letter and / or arrange to meet with you in school to discuss how we can resolve the problem. We also work very closely with Barnet’s Education Welfare Team and in cases of persistent absence, they may wish to contact you directly to discuss the problem with you. They have a legal duty to support families with attendance and where there is insufficient progress or cooperation, consider very seriously the use of legal proceedings.
- Can we take family holidays during term time?
Family holidays should not be taken during the school term. In exceptional circumstances, a request for special leave of absence during term time may be considered by the Head Teacher. Cheaper air fares or mistaking the dates of the school holidays are not acceptable reasons for booking a holiday during term time. The Head Teacher will also examine the child’s attendance record and any other significant factors when deciding whether to grant a leave of absence.
If you take your child on holiday without permission from the Head Teacher or if your child leaves earlier or returns to school later than was stated on the application form, you may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice from the Education Welfare team.
- What can I do to encourage my child to attend school?
Make sure that your child is getting adequate sleep and is getting up in plenty of time each morning. Show your child, by your support and interest, that you value his / her education.
If you have any concerns about any aspect of your child’s attendance, please do not hesitate to contact us and we can discuss together how best to support you and your child.
Strategies employed to support pupils and parents.
- All members of staff advocate the importance of excellent attendance and punctuality. The Learning Mentor will remind children of the expectations around attendance during assemblies and class teachers will remind them during register time.
- Parents are also reminded of the importance of good attendance and punctuality through the weekly newsletter and the Attendance Notice Board outside school, which displays up to date information and the school’s current attendance level with a class by class breakdown.
- The Learning Mentor operates a first day response system, explained above, to ensure that all absences are recorded accurately and where ongoing, the root of the problem is established and support is put in to place to resolve the problem.
- The Learning Mentor operates a late gate system to ensure that all lates are recorded accurately and where ongoing, the root of the problem is established and support is put in to place to resolve the problem.
- When a child’s attendance falls below what is expected, the Learning Mentor will inform the parents by letter. If after a period of monitoring, the attendance level fails to improve, the Learning Mentor will invite the parents in to school to discuss the problem further. The Head Teacher may also attend this meeting. If the child’s attendance is still below what is expected, a referral to the Education Welfare Team is made. They have a legal duty to support families to resolve difficulties and where there is insufficient progress or cooperation, consider very seriously the use of legal proceedings.
Acknowledging Good Attendance
- Every week, during a Special Mention Assembly, the classes with the highest attendance and the most improved attendance are awarded with a class shield to display in their classroom. Any class achieving 100% attendance with no lates also receive a special class prize.
- At the beginning of each term, any child who achieved 100% attendance with no lates during the previous term will receive a certificate.
- At the end of the school year, children with 100% attendance and no lates are awarded with a special certificate in assembly and a voucher.
- All of the above information is displayed on the attendance notice board outside school so that parents can see how well each class is doing. Children with ongoing excellent attendance are also acknowledged on this board for the whole school community to see.
Attendance monitoring procedures in Early Years (Nursery)
Attendance for non statutory school age children is not compulsory and the EWO team will not undertake legal proceedings where there are high levels of absence. However, we do have a duty of care to ensure that children are safe and when a child is absent for a prolonged period of time, we need to ascertain a reason for this, especially in the case of children who are subject to a Child Protection Plan or where there are concerns around their general wellbeing. It will also encourage parents to develop positive routines relating to attendance and reporting absences when children become of statutory school age.
Expectations for following up absences in non school age children are as follows;
- It is the responsibility of the Learning Mentors to follow up absences in non school age children.
- Any child who is subject to a Child Protection Plan or for whom there are significant concerns around their wellbeing should be contacted on the FIRST day of absence to ascertain a reason if one has not been supplied. This should be recorded in the register and where there are concerns with the explanation for absence, this should be reported on a CP form in the usual way.
- All other children should be contacted on day 3 of the absence toascertain a reason if one has not been supplied. This should be recorded in the register and where there are concerns with the explanation for absence, this should be reported to the relevant person.
- If a child continues to be absent for a period of time which exceeds what you would expect in relation to the reason given, a further phone call should be made and recorded in the same way.
- Where a child is having high levels of absence, this should be fed back to the Children’s Information Officer at the Children’s Centre (cc Centre Manager).
- The Learning Mentor will monitor the registers in Early Years on a half Termly basis, in order to ascertain patterns of attendance when they become of statutory school age.
- If a child of non statutory school age is absent for a period of 2 weeks, regardless of whether this has been authorised, the Admissions team must be notified. This will be the responsibility of the Early Years Team.
Guide For Pupils
Why is it important to come to school every day?
Regular attendance will help you make the most of the opportunities here at Coppett’s Wood School:
- If you are having lots of days off school, you are missing lots of work. You will find it hard to catch up as there will be lots of things you don’t understand and your friends will all be ahead of you in their work.
- Similarly, if you are arriving late, you will miss the start of your lesson – it will be very hard to catch up if you don’t know what you are supposed to be doing.
- You might miss out on important events in school, such as school trips or sporting events etc. You will then feel left out when all of your friends are talking about them.
- You will miss out on playing with your friends at play time.
- Your mum and dad could get in to trouble if you are having lots of days off or coming to school late.
What are my responsibilities around attendance?
- You need to be getting plenty of sleep – you might need to remind your parents of this.
- You should be getting up in plenty of time so that you can eat breakfast, pack your school bag and arrive at school on time. Again, you might need to remind your parents about this.
- If you are late, after your class has already gone in to school – you must sign the Late Book. Ideally, your mum or dad should help you sign in but if they don’t, there will be someone there to help you. You won’t be allowed in your class until you have signed the book and collected your late card.
- If you have been off school, you might need to remind your parents to send a note in to explain why you were off. Your teacher might ask you to remind your parents as well.
What should I do if I am having problems and don’t want to come to school?
If you are having any problems with school, work, friends or even at home, you may think the answer is to not come to school. You may even make up illnesses to try and stay off. This is not the answer and will probably make you feel even worse.
It is always best to try and get help with your problem Talk to your parents or if that is too difficult, talk to someone you trust at school – maybe the Learning Mentors or your teacher or teaching assistant – anyone! We will then do our very best to help you with your problem.