At St Bartholomew’s Church of England Academy we place great importance on regular attendance and punctuality as we know that missing education has a really detrimental impact on the progress that children make in their learning.
Regular attendance is a vital part of a child's academic and social success. The academy seeks to ensure that all its pupils receive a full-time education to make the most of their opportunities to realise their full potential. Staff work with pupils and their families to ensure each pupil attends regularly and punctually. We can help with advice and support if you are experiencing any issues around attendance and punctuality. You can contact your child's class teacher or our Attendance Team (via the school office) for support with attendance in the first instance. Where appropriate the SENDCO and Headteacher may also provide support.
We have a legal duty to promote attendance and are required to publish attendance figures. Children should be at the academy, on time, every day the academy is open, unless the reason for the absence is unavoidable. Permitting absence from the academy without a good reason is an offence and we are required to follow this up with families as part of our safeguarding responsibilities.
It is the responsibility of a child's parent/carer to inform the academy of a student's absence and also to inform the academy office of any changes to contact details (at least two for each child). The school office must be notified of a child's absence by 9.30 a.m. on each day of absence providing the reason for absence and the date that the child is expected to return to school. Where no contact has been made, we will contact parents and/or other listed emergency contacts to request an explanation for absence and to check that the child is safe. Where required, we may conduct reasonable enquiries with friends or neighbours and will carry out ‘safe and well’ home visits as necessary. If no contact is made, we may request a ‘safe and well’ check from the police.
Every half-day absence from the academy has to be classified by the academy, (not by the parents), as either AUTHORISED or UNAUTHORISED. Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason like illness or other unavoidable cause. Unauthorised absences are those which the academy does not consider reasonable and for which no 'leave' has been given. This includes:
- Absences which have never been properly explained
- Children who arrive at the academy too late to get their attendance mark
- Parents keeping children off unnecessarily, eg. shopping trips or unauthorised holidays in term-time
As far as possible, medical and dental appointments should be made outside of the academy day. Where this is not possible, a note and appointment card should be sent to us prior to the appointment so that necessary medical absences can be authorised.
Being on time is important to your child's education. If a child is persistently late, they miss the start of lessons which may have a negative impact on their learning, confidence and self-esteem. Lateness disrupts your child, their class and the staff working with them. School lessons begin at 8.45, when the children come into the academy. Classroom doors are closed from the playgrounds at 8.40, after which time children should enter through the academy office.
Being 5 minutes late every day will result in your child losing around three learning days a year.
Being 15 minutes late every day equates to having two complete weeks off a year.
Persistent lateness can result in a penalty notice being issued, which carries a fine.
Term Time Holidays
Government guidance does not permit parents to take children on holidays during term time except under the most exceptional circumstances.
If you do decide to take your child on a family holiday that has not been authorised, their absence will be recorded as 'unauthorised' and could result in a prosecution and a fine.
Encouraging good attendance
During the year, we encourage children to attend school by rewarding the class with the highest attendance each week with a £5 towards a class rewards and for Ealry Bird week prize. Termly we present certificates and a prize fro all chidlrne 97% and above attendance. We also work with families to try to support children to attend regularly and recognise the value of being in school.
If it is necessary to close the academy unexpectedly during term-time, it will be announced as soon as the information has been verified and become available via the following media:
Text Message home to parents
Announcement on Local Radio
On the local Authority Website
Further information on attendance and how we support families to maintain good attendance is available in our full Attendance policy published in the policy section of our website.
How you can help your child to prepare to return to school after a holiday period?
- Please do support us by preparing your child over the holidays by:
- talking to them about what they have missed about school, what they would like to do at school, what they enjoy about school.
- by sharing the class video through Seesaw home learning. We have added a video that you can share and talk about with your child about their new classroom and teachers.
- talk about and refer to the class information booklet with your child regularly. We have added these to our home learning platform – Seesaw. Some parents will have received an email with this information.
- If your child was able to attend the transition days, reminding them of the positive experiences they had, will also help them prepare to return to school.
- involve your child in choosing and trying on their school uniform and PE kits choosing their school bag and shoes ready for school.
- Before the start of the school term, please help your child get into the ‘school routine’ by resetting a bedtime routine, a fixed time to sleep and wake up in line with the school day so that they are not out of sync or tired when they return. 10-11 hours of sleep is recommended for primary school age children.
Attendance will be monitored for all children, and we will be rigorously following up any children who are not attending daily and/or late to the academy. Our attendance team will make contact and work together with parents to support children to return to the academy and will also make home visits to ensure children are in school daily.
Our full Attendance Policy is available on our Policies page here.