At Alexander McLeod Primary School we place a high priority on good attendance and punctuality and we aim to create an ethos in which these values are recognised as the norm.
For our students to gain the greatest benefit from their education it is vital that they attend school regularly and punctually and this policy sets out how we, together, will achieve this.
Why attendance is important for your child’s learning
Any absence affects the pattern of your child’s schooling and regular absence will seriously affect their learning. Research has shown that regular attendance and good punctuality are key factors in students achieving their full potential at school.
Ensuring your child’s regular attendance at school is your legal and parental responsibility, permitting absences from school without a good reason is an offence in law and may result in a Penalty Notices being issues or Court action/prosecution.
Understanding different types of school absence
Every half-day absence from school has to be classified by the school (not by the parents), as either AUTHORISED OR UNAUTHORISED. This is why information about the cause of any absence is always required, preferably in writing.
Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a good reason such as illness, emergencies or other unavoidable causes.
Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider reasonable for which no “leave” has been given. This includes:
- Parents/carers keeping students off school unnecessarily
- Absences which have never been properly explained or evidenced
- Students who arrive at school too late to get a mark
- Shopping, looking after other children or birthdays
- Day trips, holidays or overseas trips in term time.
Whilst any student may be off school because they are ill sometimes they can be reluctant to attend school. Any problems with regular attendance are best sorted out between the school, the parents and the student. If your child is reluctant to attend, it is never better to cover up their absence or to give in to pressure to excuse them from attending. This gives the impression that attendance does not matter and usually makes things worse. If there are any difficulties parents are encouraged to discuss them with the Head teacher so that we can work together to resolve the matter.
The school has targets to improve attendance and punctuality and your child has an important part to play in meeting these targets.
The minimum level of attendance and punctuality for this school is 96% attendance and we will keep you updated regularly about progress to this level and how you child’s attendance and punctuality compares. Our target is to achieve better than this however because we know that good attendance is the key to successful schooling and we believe our students can be amongst the best in the authority.
At Alexander McLeod we celebrate those children who attend school every day. Class attendance is monitored on a weekly basis. The class with the highest attendance percentage in both Key Stage 1 and 2 are rewarded with the 'Attendance of the week' certificate. This class will also be home to our school attendance mascot who travels from class to class depending on who has reached 100% attendance for the week!
At the end of each half term, children who have managed to maintain their 100% attendance are awarded a 100% attendance certificate as recognition of their commitment to attending school.
If by the end of the academic year children have still maintained 100% attendance then they get a certificate, a badge and a day out. Last academic year we went ten pin bowling followed by a picnic in the park, this years location is yet to be decided on.
If you wish to discuss your child’s absence or potential absence from school, please make an appointment with the school office to meet Vanessa Johnson who is the designated Family Engagement Officer at Alexander McLeod. Alternatively you can find her on the school playground in the mornings for an informal conversation.