1.1 Hertfordshire County Council expects all schools to work closely together in partnership with parents in order to achieve excellent levels of school attendance and punctuality for all pupils. Attendance targets for Cuffley School are set by and agreed with the Local Authority.
To promote good attendance, we at Cuffley School work closely together in partnership with parents in order to achieve excellent levels of attendance and punctuality for all pupils. We also work closely with divisions of the Education Department, with departments of the County Council and with relevant external agencies.
1.2 We expect all children on roll to attend every day, as long as they are fit and healthy enough to do so. We do all we can to encourage the children to attend, and put in place appropriate procedures to ensure this happens, working with the Attendance Improvement Officer where necessary. We believe that the most important factor in promoting good attendance is the development of positive attitudes towards the school and learning. To this end we strive to make our school a happy and rewarding experience for all children. We will also make the best provision we can for those children who, for whatever reason, are prevented from coming to school; which may include working with other professionals, such as teachers employed to work in children’s own homes or hospitals in the case of long term and serious illness.
2.1 Regular and punctual attendance is a legal requirement for all pupils registered at Cuffley School and is essential if pupils are to maximise the educational opportunities available to them.
2.2 Parents and carers have a legal responsibility to ensure that their children arrive at school on time, properly dressed and in a condition to learn.
2.3 Parents and carers are responsible for informing the school on the first day of their child’s absence and must, at that time, give an explanation for the non-attendance. If this is by telephone, it will be recorded by the staff and placed on the child’s file and a note will be made on the child’s attendance record. Parents and carers should contact the school on a daily basis unless otherwise agreed.
2.4 If a child is going to be absent from school for any reason we ask parents and carers to:
2.5 Parents and carers are expected to avoid booking holidays during term time. If special circumstances exist, the permission of the Headteacher must be sought well in advance.
2.6 Parents and carers are expected to avoid making medical/dental appointments for their child during school hours if at all possible. In the event that this is unavoidable, please give details of the appointment to the school office in writing.
2.7 Parents and carers whose children are in Year 2 or Year 6 will not be expected to request any absences during the SATs period.
2.8 Pupils who have been sick or have had diarrhoea are to be kept home for 48 hrs from the last time of sickness.
3.1 Cuffley School is responsible for supporting the attendance of pupils and for working in partnership with parents and carers to resolve issues regarding attendance and punctuality.
3.2 We are committed to: the maximizing of attendance rates, both in relation to individual pupils and for the pupil body as a whole, which is one of our key priority tasks
3.3 extending support to parents to ensure the regular and punctual attendance of pupils, responding to any issue which may lead to non-attendance
3.4 being sensitive to the needs of individual parents in the way in which we address attendance issues. (We recognise that some parents experience difficulty understanding and producing written communications and we also recognize the reluctance of some parents to come into school).
3.5 We encourage all staff, including ancillary and administrative staff, to see the attendance of children as part of their responsibility.
3.6 We actively address all issues, such as bullying, which may lead to non- attendance.
3.7 We do not exclude pupils because of non-attendance.
3.8 We consider attendance from a whole school perspective. We explore the link between attendance and achievement.
3.9 We include in each pupil’s annual report to his/her parents or carers, information relating to the number of authorised and unauthorised absences which the pupil has accrued during that school year.
3.10 We will discuss with parents levels of authorised absence where these become a cause for concern.
4.1 The Education Welfare Service fulfils the statutory duty of the LEA in enforcing regular school attendance. In doing so, it enables schools and parents to meet their respective responsibilities.
4.2 We work closely with our Attendance Improvement Officer (AIO) who visits the school regularly, in order to meet the Headteacher/Deputy Headteacher and administrative assistant with responsibility for attendance.
4.3 The purpose of the visit will be to:
4.4 The AIO may also arrange for the pupil to receive specialist support such as counselling or group work.
4.5 The AIO will usually work with children whose absences have not been authorised, and in some cases even when absence has been authorised.
4.6 The AIO will offer, or assist, with INSET sessions to staff on a range of subjects related to the attendance or welfare of pupils including:
4.7 The Attendance Improvement Service will follow up all instances of pupils who are absent from school for more than four weeks and who subsequently cannot be traced.
4.8 Cuffley School will work closely with the Hertfordshire Attendance Improvement Service, who will work with the Attendance Improvement Service of neighbouring Local Authorities and will, when necessary, liaise and coordinate action.
4.9 The Attendance Improvement Service will maintain a ‘Children out of School’ Database in order to track the progress of individual children and facilitate the effective targeting of resources.
4.10 The AIO will advise the School on any appropriate legal action should this prove necessary.
Under the Education (Pupil Registration) Regulations 1995 the governing body are responsible for monitoring attendance data.
7.1 Authorised absence
7.1.3 Parents and Carers must be aware that authorised leave of absence is not a right and each case will be dealt with on an individual basis, ie no request for absence during school time can be guaranteed to be authorised.
7.2 Unauthorised absence
7.2.2 Repeated unauthorised absences
The school will contact the parent or guardian of any child who has an unauthorised absence. If a child has a repeated number of unauthorised absences, the parents or guardians will be asked to visit the school and discuss the problem. If the situation does not improve, the school will then contact the LA support services, who will visit the home and seek to ensure that the parents or carers understand the seriousness of the situation.
7.2.3 The governors, supported by the LA, reserve the right to consider taking legal action against any parents or carers who repeatedly fail to accept their responsibility for sending their children to school on a regular basis.
Pupils who are engaged in off-site educational activities will be recorded as approved educational activity. For statistical purposes, such pupils will be counted as present even though they are physically absent.
A pupil will be recorded as approved educational activity if he/she is on:
The School recognises the key features of approved educational activity as being:
9.1 We take steps to actively encourage excellent levels of punctuality. We monitor and follow up lateness on a regular basis.
9.2 Registers are kept open for no longer than ten minutes.
9.3 When a pupil arrives late and the register is still open he/she will be marked as ‘late’, but counted as present for that session.
9.4 When a pupil arrives after the register has closed and provides a satisfactory explanation, he/she may be marked as ‘authorised absent’ for that session.
9.5 When a pupil arrives after the register has closed and fails to provide a satisfactory explanation, he/she will marked as ‘unauthorised absent’ for that session.
10.1 Children are expected to be on site by 8.45 am and the whistle is blown at 8.55
a.m. promptly. Registers will be called promptly at 9:00am and 1.05pm at the latest.
If a pupil is persistently late, the parents will be contacted.
Parents will be reminded that if a child arrives in school after the registers have closed and an acceptable explanation is not forthcoming, the pupil has to be recorded as ‘unauthorised absent’ for that session.
The Headteacher and the Attendance Improvement Officer will regularly inspect all registers to ensure that correct procedures are being followed; with a minimum termly check.
11.1 We believe that children need to be in school for all sessions, so that they can make the most progress possible. However, we do understand that there are exceptional circumstances where a parent may legitimately request leave of absence for a child to attend. We expect parents to contact the school to discuss the request or to write a letter formally requesting authorisation of a leave of absence. Requests should be made in good time, but with a minimum of 48 hours. The request may be authorised at the discretion of the Headteacher.
11.2 In exceptional circumstances, parents and carers may request a leave of absence for an annual holiday during term time. In those cases, the Headteacher may authorise absence to a maximum of ten days in one academic year if they believe the circumstances are exceptional.
11.3 In all cases, the Headteacher will take into account the attendance record of the pupil before granting any absence. As a general rule, attendance must be above 95% before an absence will be authorised.
12.1 When children have an illness that means they will be away from school for over five days, the school will do all it can to support the child’s education.
12.2 If the absence is likely to continue for an extended period, or be a repetitive absence, the school will contact the support services, so that arrangements can be made for the child to be given some tuition outside school.
At Cuffley School we set attendance targets each year. The targets are challenging yet realistic, and based on attendance figures achieved in previous years. The school considers carefully the attendance figures for other similar schools when setting its own targets.
14.1 It is the responsibility of the governors to monitor overall attendance. The Headteacher will update the Governing Body or relevant committee on a regular basis and no less than once per term.
14.2 Class teachers will be responsible for monitoring attendance in their class, and for following up absences in the appropriate way. If there is concern about a child’s absence, they will contact the school office immediately. If there is a longer-term general worry about the attendance of a particular child, this will be reported to the Headteacher, who will contact the parents or guardian.
15 This policy will be reviewed by the governing body every three years, or earlier if considered necessary.
Policy for Attendance Improvement Officers working with children whose absence has been authorised:
(Note: if a pupil’s absence has been authorised by the school, the LA cannot cite that absence as evidence of non-attendance under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996.)
|B||Educated off site (NOT Dual registration)||Approved Education Activity|
|C||Other Authorised Circumstances (not covered by another appropriate code/description)||Authorised absence|
|D||Dual registration (i.e. pupil attending other establishment)||Approved Education Activity|
|E||Excluded (no alternative provision made)||Authorised absence|
|F||Extended family holiday (agreed)||Authorised absence|
|G||Family holiday (NOT agreed or days in excess of agreement)||Unauthorised absence|
|H||Family holiday (agreed)||Authorised absence|
|I||Illness (NOT medical or dental etc. appointments)||Authorised absence|
|J||Interview||Approved Education Activity|
|L||Late (before registers closed)||Present|
|M||Medical/Dental appointments||Authorised absence|
|N||No reason yet provided for absence||Unauthorised absence|
|O||Unauthorised absence (not covered by any other code/description)||Unauthorised absence|
|P||Approved sporting activity||Approved Education Activity|
|R||Religious observance||Authorised absence|
|S||Study leave||Authorised absence|
|T||Traveller absence||Authorised absence|
|U||Late (after registers closed)||Unauthorised absence|
|V||Educational visit or trip||Approved Education Activity|
|W||Work experience||Approved Education Activity|
|X||School closed to pupils||Not counted in possible attendances|
|Y||Enforced closure||Not counted in possible attendances|
|Z||Do not use||Not counted in possible attendances|
|I||Non- compulsory school age absence||Not counted in possible attendances|
|#||School closed to pupils & staff||Not counted in possible attendances|
|*||Pupil not on roll||Not counted in possible attendances|
|–||All should attend/No mark recorded||Not counted in possible attendances|
Further information on the correct use of these symbols can be found at: www.dcsf.gov.uk/schoolattendance/otherinitiatives/absence.cfm from which a Word document entitled Guidance for Absence Codes can be downloaded.