PARENTS/CARERS LEGAL DUTY
Parents/Carers have the legal duty to ensure their children go to School regularly and on time. Failure to do this may result in prosecution in the Magistrates' Court and can lead to fines of up to £2,500 or three months' imprisonment, a parenting order from the Courts, a penalty notice or a community order. In some cases, Youth Courts can pass educational supervision orders onto pupils.
As you will no doubt be aware there is a very clear link between how well children do at School and how often they attend. At St. Bernadette's our expectation is that children attend School every day for every lesson. We believe that regular, uninterrupted attendance secures the best possible learning achievement for all our children and we are committed to working with families to achieve this.
The Government regard 95% as the minimum satisfactory attendance for a primary school child and the minimum attendance we expect is 96%.
A child registered at St Bernadette’s can only legally miss School if:
If your child is ill then you must let the School Office know as soon as possible before 9.00 am on the same day. Please keep School informed if your child is going to be away for more than a day. Telephone Number: 01543 452921
If School does not receive a telephone call/message/email, parents/carers will be contacted as soon as the register closes. If we do not receive an explanation for your child’s absence, then it will be recorded on their file as an unauthorised absence.
If a child has a medical appointment, wherever possible, an appointment card must be shown to the School Office so that the absence can be authorised. This will be copied for school records.
REQUESTS FOR LEAVE DURING TERM-TIME
Head Teachers have no discretion to grant leave of absence during term-time unless there are genuinely exceptional circumstances. It is the responsibility of parents/carers to contact School in writing when requesting any leave for their children so that each case can be considered on an individual basis.
The following situations might be considered examples of "exceptional circumstances":
Any request for absence which might be considered as "exceptional circumstances" should be put in writing to the Head Teacher as far in advance as possible, including any relevant supporting documents. The decision whether to grant leave, and if so how much, remains with the Head Teacher. Parents/carers will be notified of the Head Teacher's decision at the earliest opportunity.
The following (not exhaustive) are examples of situations which would not typically be considered as "exceptional circumstances"
If you take your child out of school without the prior approval of the School, you may be liable for penalty fine.
A penalty fine is £60.00 per parent per child
(if paid within 28 days)
(2 children = £120 x 2 parents = £240.00).
This increases to £100 after 28 days or before 42 days. (2 children - £200 x 2 parents = £400.00)
We have 3 stages of attendance monitoring:-
ATTENDANCE BETWEEN 92% TO 95%
When your child's attendance drops to between 92% - 95% you will be notified by a letter from School. It will state your child's attendance and our concern. We will ask you to be mindful of this and where ever possible provide evidence of their illness for each subsequent time that they are absent from School.
ATTENDANCE BETWEEN 90% AND 92%
When your child's attendance drops between 90% and 92%, another letter will be sent. It, will again state your child's attendance and will advise you that your child is at risk of becoming a Persistent Absentee who will be referred to our Education Welfare Office. It is at this stage that you may be invited to a meeting in School to see how we can support you.
PERSISTENT ABSENTEES - ABSENCE BELOW 90%
When your child's attendance drops below 90% they are classed as a Persistent Absentee and will drop onto our Persistent Absentee list. We are obliged by the Government, to refer them to the Educational Welfare Officer who will monitor their attendance closely and any absences will be recorded as unauthorised unless sufficient proof of illness is seen. If no improvement is made, then a Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued to you.
There are only 190 statutory days in one school year.
There are 175 days (weekends and school holidays) available to use for holidays.
The School is opened at 8.45 am and registers are taken at 8.55 am.
The gate is locked at 8.55 am and the morning session commences promptly at 9.00 am
If a child arrives in the morning after the gate has closed, they are late and parents should register them into School on the Inventry Console by the School Office.
Late letters are produced each week and at the beginning of each term and are sent out to parents for your information.
If a child is persistently late and there is no improvement made, then the matter will be referred to the Educational Welfare Officer.
IMPACT OF LATENESS
Lateness impacts on both the child and the class.
BEING 15 MINUTES LATE EACH DAY IS THE SAME AS MISSING 2 WEEKS OF SCHOOL!