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School Attendance

SCHOOL SESSIONS

Children should not be left at school before 8.40am.  The doors will be opened at this time and the teacher will be in her classroom to receive the children.  School starts promptly at 8.50am.

Morning Session: 8.50am - 11.55am

Afternoon Session : 12.55pm - 2.55pm

All children have a fifteen minute break in the morning and EYFS has an afternoon break. 

Educational Welfare Officer   

We have an Educational Welfare Officer who can be called upon to provide support for staff and parents, especially when there are anxieties about the child’s well-being.  Our EWO will visit school regularly each half term to monitor attendance, and should a problem with low attendance be noted, the family may be contacted. The EWO will be taking particular note of unauthorised absence and a Fixed Penalty Notice may be implemented should more than 8 sessions (4 days) unauthorised absence be recorded over a 12 week period.  Please contact either the office or the EWO for further information.

Pupil Absence     

The DfE has published new guidance about term time holidays, which comes into force from September 2013. 

“The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 currently allow head teachers to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday during term time in “special circumstances” of up to ten school days leave per year. Head teachers can also grant extended leave for more than ten school days in exceptional circumstances.

Amendments to the 2006 regulations remove references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments make clear that head teachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Head teachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.

https://www.gov.uk/school-attendance-absence

Please remember to contact school on the first day of any absence so that we can fill in our forms and record the absence as authorised. We are unable to authorise any absence without receiving communication from parents.

Holidays During Term Time  

It is not recommended that children are taken out of school for holiday purposes as this disrupts their education and can be very unsettling for the child.  Any holidays taken during term-time will be unauthorised unless there are exceptional circumstances.  The school should be notified of any holidays in writing, in advance, and a form is available from the office on request.  Each notification will be assessed on its merits and the parents informed.

Inclement Weather

In the event of snow, ice or other adverse weather conditions, parents should assume that the school is open unless they hear otherwise via local radio (Radio Suffolk or Heart FM).  We will also try to get an email sent to parents who are on our email list.  Occasionally, weather conditions force us to close the school earlier than normal. In these circumstances we would contact you and ask that you collect your child as soon as possible.  Bus contractors will be contacted and asked to send their bus as early as possible.

A GUIDE FOR PARENTS

1.      When does my child need to be in School?

         Your child should be at school in good time for registration.  The morning register will be called promptly at 8.50 am and the afternoon register at 12.55 pm.

2.      What happens if my child is late?

         Registration finishes at 9.10 am in the morning and 1.20 pm in the afternoon.

         If you child arrives between 9 am and 9.10 am he/she will be marked late

         If your child arrives after 9.10 am he/she will be marked as absent

         If your child arrives between 1 pm and 1.20 pm he/she will be marked late

         If your child arrives after 1.20 pm he/she will be marked absent

         Pupils who arrive after registration should report to the school office, and sign the Late Book.  If a pupil is late on two or more occasions a meeting will be arranged with a member of staff to discuss reasons/ difficulties for lateness.

3.      Does the School need letters explaining my child’s absence or will a phone call do?

         We expect a parent to telephone the school on the first day of absence.  If you do not phone us, we will phone you.  However, we need a written explanation on your child’s return to school.  If we do not receive an explanation, or if the explanation is unsatisfactory, we will not authorise the absence, and this will be shown on your child’s end of year report.

4.      What reasons will the school accept for absences?

  • Illness
  • Emergency dental/medical appointment that cannot be arranged out of school hours. Please make routine appointments after school or during the holidays.
  • Day of religious observance
  • Close family bereavement

Except in the case of illness, you should ask for permission for your child to miss school well in advance, giving full details.  In cases of recurring absences through illness you may be asked to produce a medical certificate.

5.      What is unacceptable?

         The school will not authorise absence for day trips, visiting relatives, shopping, birthdays or looking after brothers or sisters etc.

6.      Will the school contact me if my child is absent?

         The school operates a first day response to absences: we will phone you if we have not heard from you.  This is because we believe it is our responsibility to ensure your child’s safety as well as their regular school attendance.

         If we are concerned about aspects of your child’s attendance or punctuality we will contact you to discuss the best way forward.

7.      Can we take family holidays during term time?

         Family holidays will not be authorised during term time except in limited and exceptional circumstances. Circumstances where a leave of absence will be considered include:

  • The parent is a member of the armed forces or emergency services and his or her leave is limited for operational reasons and cannot be taken in school holidays;
  • The parent is an agricultural worker or works in a support industry for the agricultural industry and can only take leave during term time;
  • When an exceptional family crisis occurs and a leave of absence is requested.

         Requests for holidays for the following reasons will not be authorised:

  • cheaper cost of holiday;
  • availability of the desired accommodation;
  • poor weather experienced in school holiday periods; and
  • overlap with beginning or end of term.

         The school will refer cases of unauthorised absence of 8 sessions (4 days) or more within a 12 week period to the Education Welfare Officer. The local authority has the power to issue penalty notices and fines to parents when a pupil's absence has not been authorised by the school.

8.      I am thinking about sending my child on an extended absence for an overseas to visit relatives.  What should I do?

         The school recognises that such absence can be important for children to keep in touch with their extended family.  Contact the headteacher as soon as possible to discuss the best time for such a visit.

         Where possible, you should arrange the visit for the school holidays. The school would strongly recommend that such absences do not take place during your child’s SATs years (Years 2 and 6).  You need to complete an application form for extended leave of absence and if the Headteacher then approves the visit, the school will set work for your child to complete while away.

9.      What can I do to encourage my child to attend school?

         Make sure your child gets enough sleep and gets up in plenty of time each morning.  Ensure that he/she leaves home in the correct clothes and properly equipped.  Show your child, by your interest, that you value his/her education.  Your child will bring home a homework/reading diary each evening.  Please ensure you look at it with your child and sign it ready for the next day.

10.   My child is trying to avoid coming to school. What should I do?

         Contact your child’s class teacher and the headteacher immediately and openly discuss your worries.  Your child could be avoiding school for a number of reasons – difficulties with school work, bullying, friendship problems, family difficulties.  It is important that we identify the reason for your child’s reluctance to attend school and work together to tackle the problem.

         In some cases, you may find it helpful to discuss the circumstances of your child's difficulties with an Education Welfare Officer.  The school may also refer you to an Education Welfare Officer who works with staff and families if difficulties with attendance arise. The Education Welfare Service can be contacted on 01473 265364 and further information can be found on the Suffolk County Council website: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/children-families-and-learning/schools/pupil-attendance-and-welfare/