Attendance and punctuality
We expect all children to have good attendance, classed as 96% or above.
Good attendance is not simply a legal requirement. It is essential if pupils are to take full advantage of the range of opportunities that school offers and gain the skills that will equip them for their next stage of education and for adult life.
All children are entitled to receive the full benefits of education; poor attendance is therefore a safeguarding issue.
We recognise punctuality as an important related issue as frequent lateness will cause children to miss aspects of their education, is upsetting for the child, and is disruptive to others. We recognise the importance of a clear understanding of the need for regular and punctual attendance in preparing children for the workplace.
If your child is absent, please telephone the school as soon as possible on the first day of absence and let us know. The school telephone number is 020 8669 7588.
If you do not call the school to confirm why your child is not at school, you will firstly receive a text message and then if we do not get a response, a phone call from the school office. We will then work through your child’s contact list in an attempt to get a response and a reason for their absence.
Parents/Carers are responsible for making sure that their children of compulsory school age receive a suitable full-time education and if your child is registered at Rushy Meadow Primary Academy, this means you have a duty to ensure they attend school regularly.
It is a Government requirement that schools publish a record of attendance. Parents who do not inform us of reasons for their child’s absence, or whose children are continually late, will be contacted by the school to request information and will be asked to provide medical evidence when their child is not attending due to medical reasons.
Good school attendance means your child attends school over 96% of the time. Any child attending less than 90% is known as a persistent absentee, and the school has a duty to contact parents, hold meetings, and inform the Borough Attendance Officer of these children. We may also do unannounced home visits.
If parents/carers choose to take a term time holiday, it could have a detrimental effect on the child’s progress. Legislative guidelines issued by the Department for Education, November 2006 state that ‘Headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances,”. All requests for leave due to exceptional circumstances (which should be supported by documentation) should be made to the Head of School, via letter or email, and received in school preferably 21 days before the leave is due to start. Leave should not be booked in advance of authorisation.
Any term time leave without approval is likely to be issued with a penalty notice. The fine is £60 if paid within 21 days of issue of the Penalty Notice, increasing to £120 if paid after this date, but within 28 days of issue. A penalty notice is issued to each parent in respect of each child not attending school.
If a child regularly attends school late, the minutes they miss can add up to days, weeks or even months of absence. If children are persistently late or continually absent without good reason, our Borough Attendance Officer will be informed. Measures will be taken to address the lateness and/or regular absence.
Why Good Attendance Matters
Research suggests that students who attend school regularly could be at less risk of getting involved in antisocial behaviour
or crime (Bristol.gov.uk).
Below is a table showing how children’s percentage attendance equates to the amount of school time missed.
|Attendance during one school year||Equivalent Days||Equivalent Sessions||Equivalent Weeks|
|95%||9 Days||18 Sessions||2 Weeks|
|90%||19 Days||38 Sessions||4 Weeks|
|85%||29 Days||58 Sessions||6 Weeks|
|80%||38 Days||72 Sessions||8 Weeks|
|75%||48 Days||96 Sessions||10 Weeks|
|70%||57 Days||114 Sessions||11.5 Weeks|
|65%||67 Days||134 Sessions||13.5 Weeks|
Below is a graph which illustrates how being late to school every day over a school year adds up to lost learning time
over one academic year.