At Pucklechurch CEVC School, we believe that good attendance is vital for every child to enable them to access the educational opportunities on offer to them. We work very hard to monitor attendance and to work with families to improve attendance where it dips below the Government expectation of 96.4%.
Our school timings are as follows:
8.30am - Playground gates open
8:40am - Classroom doors openchildren are dropped at the doors.
8.45am - Register and lunch requests are taken in class.
8:50am - Registers close and any arrival after this time is recorded as late (L code).
9.00am - The late now becomes an unauthorised absence (U code) if a child arrives after this time.
1.00pm Afternoon registers are taken.
3.15pm - School ends and pupils are collected from their classroom doors.
The are a range of strategies we employ as a school, under guidance from our Local Authority to ensure that we do everything possible to support our families with any issues linked to attendance and punctuality. These are outlined below.
Every week in the newsletter we praise the class with the highest attendance. We regularly talk about the importance of attending school and praise children in doing so.
If attendance starts to dip below the Government expectation of 96.4%, then someone from our school team will call and write to the families to encourage better attendance and to inform them that their child’s attendance will continue to be closely monitored to ensure it improves. Where it doesn’t improve over the next six weeks, families may be invited to meet with the Parent Link Worker to discuss their child’s attendance and to try and unpick the reasons for it dropping. In many cases, the school will be able to offer support and it is a great opportunity for an open conversation as everyone wants their child to attend school and be happy. All correspondence is always addressed to the parents so children are never involved in the discussion as it is rarely ever a child's decision to not be attending school.
Term time absence
There are times that a child needs to miss school for very genuine reasons such as:
- Sickness or medical appointments
- Exams or interviews e.g. ballet or piano exams
- School visits for an open day or transition days
All these examples are authorised. Parents just need to complete an absence request notification form which can be found on our policies page at the end of the attendance policy or by picking up a paper copy from our school office.
Term time holidays, family visiting from abroad and more than one day for weddings etc are not days that will be authorised but the school still need to be informed. It can be very detrimental to children to miss a chunk of school as they can miss lessons that are not taught again within that year and they start to fall behind their peers.
Every week is made up of ten sessions (two a day). If any one of these sessions is missed, regardless of the reason and whether it was authorised absence, the week is called a ‘broken week’. This is because lessons often build on each other, so missing a lesson can have a negative impact for a child’s confidence and their understanding of the teaching. Even if your child’s attendance percentage is high, you may be contacted by the headteacher or Parent Link Worker if there are lots of broken weeks.
In line with our Local Authority, a Penalty Notice may be issued to a parent in one or more of the following circumstances where more than 10 sessions of absence are recorded within 7 school weeks (ie 70 sessions). There are 2 sessions per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon:
1. where unauthorised absences are recorded
2. where more than 10 sessions of unauthorised holiday are recorded and;
a) the parent has not informed the school; or
b) the leave was not authorised; or
c) the child did not return on the agreed date
3. where the child is persistently late arriving at school after registers have closed
4. where a combination of more than 10 sessions of
a) to c) above have been recorded.
Please click here for more information on South Gloucestershire Local Authority's information for parents and carers about Penalty Notices.
Working with families
We know that parents want the best for their child and in our experience most parents are very happy to work with us to tackle any reasons behind poor attendance. We are aware this could include family break up, friendship issues or medical concerns etc.
We would always encourage you to talk to your child’s class teacher if there are any issues.
Appointments can also be made with Alex Capel (headteacher) or Gemma Jones (deputy headteacher/SENCo) if there is a sensitive or complex issue you would like to discuss.
Thank you for your ongoing support to keep every child’s attendance as high as possible.