It is Crossgates Primary School’s policy to actively discourage late arrival. School starts promptly at 8.55am. School doors are open from 8.45am and pupils are expected to be in class and ready to learn by 8.55am. School gates close at 9.00am sharp.
If your child will be late to school, please bring them through the reception area and sign them in on the electronic system stating the reason for the lateness. Your child may have missed their lunch order so please make sure you book their dinner in with reception staff.
A pupil arriving late may seriously disrupt not only his or her continuity of learning but also that of others.
For registration to mean anything at all, a firm line must be taken on late arrivals. To do otherwise undermines the whole purpose of registration and may serve to encourage other pupils to arrive late. Particular attention will be paid to emerging patterns of late arrival. Where a pupil does arrive late and misses’ registration, his or her presence on site will still need to be noted. Anyone arriving late must enter school via the main entrance and register at the school office, providing the reason for absence.
In responding to lateness, we will of course need to take account of the individual circumstances of each case. In some instances, the Education Welfare Officer may need to seek an early meeting with parents of pupils who persistently fail to arrive on time without valid reason whilst keeping the Head Teacher informed. If the parents do not have any valid reason for the child’s persistent lateness the Education Welfare Officer will consult with the Local Authority.
If your child arrives late, beyond the close of register, the late mark is converted to an unauthorised absence. Again, this is a national requirement, not the school’s. This is done because too much time in school has been missed. Arrive late and children may be considered absent; arrive persistently late, and it is easy to fall below the expectation.
When making appointments we ask parents to make these, where possible, before or after school hours however if this is not possible we expect your child to be in school before and after the appointment to minimise the impact on their education.
It is the parent’s responsibility to inform school of the reason for a child’s absence. We would like to receive notification as soon as the child is absent from school. We ask that the parent telephones the school office before 8.45am on the first day of absence and each subsequent day their child is absent to report the reason for the absence.
Our phone system operates a pupil absence line (Option1) which is available 24hrs. When reporting that your child is ill, unwell or poorly please state your child’s full name, class and the reason for absence in full e.g. chicken pox, flu etc.
In the instance of sickness or diarrhoea, your child must not return to school until 48 hours after the last episode, but you must still contact school on every day of absence.
If a pupil is absent for a prolonged period or the School notices a pattern emerging, early contact will be made with the Local Authority Education Welfare Service and/or School Health Service for further investigation.
Where there is doubt about the authenticity of absence attributed to illness, the School’s Education Welfare Officer may attempt to refer the matter to the School Health Service to arrange a special medical, or to make contact with the pupil’s GP.
NOTE: Attendance records taken for a pupil over a 12 month rolling period, that falls below 95%, is deemed poor attendance.
Legal action due to frequent illnesses
Absence is absence, and impacts on a child’s learning and wellbeing, regardless of the reason. This is clear in the actions taken under national policy. Whilst I have utter respect for parents who state that absence has been a result of specific unavoidable illness, this does not negate the fact that their child has been impacted by it, or that the policy applies to all. A child, who is absent due to intermittent illness, has missed the same amount of time as a child who has been absent as a result of a parent’s failure to bring them to school for unauthorised reasons.
If a parent is subjected to a fine, this can be appealed against on medical grounds, but it should be noted that the absence is not ignored owing to circumstance and may not be seen as ‘good reason’ in court without specific, long term, medical support and evidence.
Attendance and Absence
Absenteeism, Persistent Absenteeism and the issuing of fines / Court Orders
Firstly, I will make clear that it is not the school’s policy, but that of the Department of Education, to issue fines (also known as fixed penalties) for persistent absenteeism; I do however understand the necessity to do so in some cases.
It is the Department of Education/Ofsted that dictate attendance below 95% is poor and that below 90% is ‘persistent absenteeism’. The reasons for this have been made clear before; good attendance is vital for the success of pupils and their wellbeing. Our own school data, as well as that issued nationally, makes clear that poor attendance results in poorer outcomes for children.
Children must attend school under the Education Act 1989 (revised). Poor attendance at school can result in one or more of the following:
- a Parenting Order
- an Education Supervision Order
- a School Attendance Order
- a fine (sometimes known as a ‘penalty notice’)
I wish to end by stating that it is my duty as Headteacher to address poor attendance and the duty of my Governing Board to hold me accountable for it. The vast majority of parents at Crossgates Primary School ensure their children attend in line with the expectation and I am grateful for this, as are my staff.
I cannot however ignore poor attendance in my school. It is a stark and frightening fact that whilst we are driving up standards across the school, many are missing out on and suffering as a result. This has a negative impact on the children and the wider school.
We have always had a firm stance on attendance matters and will continue to do so and I know that the wider community supports this. Your actions are appreciated.